Foreign experts criticise China’s actions in East Sea

Leading foreign experts have voiced their concerns over China’s recent actions in the East Sea, while speaking at the ongoing 11th East Sea International Conference in Hanoi.

Foreign experts criticise China’s actions in East Sea

President of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam Nguyen Vu Tung speaks at the opening ceremony of the conference

Addressing the first plenary session entitled “East Sea State of Affairs: Threats, Risks and Opportunities”, Greg Poling, Director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the US-based Center for Strategic & International Studies, said the most important development in the East Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea) over the last year has been the growth in the number of China Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels China has deployed to the Spratly archipelago.

These ships are now patrolling every part of the nine dash line continuously and are becoming more aggressive in harassing Southeast Asian states' normal activities including oil and gas work, fishing, and resupply of their outposts, he said.

“If the situation continues, it will soon be too risky for regional actors to engage in any normal activity without Chinese participation,” he stressed.

During the session, delegates identified threats, risks and opportunities in the East Sea in relation to regional peace and stability. Particularly, they also assessed the past year’s behavior and activities of all parties concerned and how they would affect inter-state relations and strategic seascape in the waterway of strategic importance.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nicola Casarini from the Istituto Affari Internazionali of Italy said at the second plenary session on “The East Sea in Competing Visions” that Beijing continues to challenge the rules-based order in the area by building artificial islands with military facilities and weapons systems, drilling for oil and gas, and chasing off its Southeast Asian neighbours’ fishing vessels from waters where they have the rights to fish in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The EU is scaling up its security engagement in and with Asia, in line with EU global strategy’s objective to support a rules-based international order, Casarini told the participants.

 

In the second plenary session, participants examined the importance of the East Sea in major players’ grand strategies or regional visions in a way to mapping out how the East Sea is connected with their security and economic prosperity. Also, they mapped out the differences and similarities in the major players’ interests in and approaches to the East Sea to better understand the nature of their cooperation and competition over the relevant issues at this moment and time to come.

The panelists were requested to examine the East Sea from the perspectives of their countries’ policies and strategies, either Belt and Road Initiative or Free and Open Indo-Pacific, or their respective regional policies.

Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova, Deputy Dean at the School of Political Affairs and Associate Professor at the Department of Asian and African Studies under the MGIMO-University of Russia, said the region has witnessed not only the reminiscence of the great power rivalry but also a contestation of regional and trans-regional visions and competition of projects at the nexus of economy, politics, security and infrastructural development. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) had multiple unintended results as long as more and more countries started to speculate what it really means to be included or not included in the BRI, she said.

The 11th East Sea International Conference is being jointly organised on November 6 and 7 by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), the Foundation for East Sea Studies (FESS) and the Vietnam Lawyers Association (VLA), drawing the participation of more than 50 speakers and around 250 officials, scholars and diplomats of Vietnam and foreign countries.

For the past decade, since its first edition in 2009, the conference has become one of the most prominent forums which have gathered leading experts to brainstorm a wide range of issues from maritime security, international law, marine-based economic development, and marine ecology, which are deemed important to regional peace, development and environmental sustainability. Ongoing developments have shown the East Sea issue to be intractable. There have been more military exercises and encounters over the last year than ever before. The standoff over hydrocarbon resources escalated in various areas. Competition for fishing grounds has been intense throughout the year.

Without signs of fatigue, the 11th conference builds up the tradition of candid and open exchange established over the last 10 years and will be upgraded with a number of new features. First and foremost, the format of the discussion has been adapted to reflect greater interests in the East Sea  issue from a wider audience, particularly the need to engage more extensively with policy practitioners and make deliberations more policy relevant. In other words, the conference is aimed at establishing a comfortable zone for bridging Track I and Track II to work out creative measures of practical nature to improve the situation at sea.

Second, it also looks at the East Sea in broader geographical and political spaces, in which the maritime commons, as a continuum and an extension to the continental sphere, are interlinked and inseparable. As a result, this year’s conference includes three concurrent roundtables on the East China Sea, Indian Ocean, the Pacific and polar regions to map out connectivity, similarities, and differences among them./. VNA

 
 

Other News

.
Malaysia: East Sea issue must be managed in peaceful, rational manner
Malaysia: East Sea issue must be managed in peaceful, rational manner
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  21/07/2020 

Malaysia stands firm on its position that the East Sea issue must be managed in a peaceful and rational manner through dialogue and consultation.

Vietnam reaffirms sovereignty over Spratly and Paracels islands
Vietnam reaffirms sovereignty over Spratly and Paracels islands
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  16/07/2020 

Vietnam has a full legal foundation and historical evidence to back up its sovereignty claims over the Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands and calls for all countries to respect international law.

Indonesia urges parties to respect international laws regarding East Sea disputes
Indonesia urges parties to respect international laws regarding East Sea disputes
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  17/07/2020 

Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi has called all parties to respect international laws in response to the recent escalating tensions in the East Sea.

All countries have common obligation, interest in respecting int’l law: spokeswoman
All countries have common obligation, interest in respecting int’l law: spokeswoman
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  17/07/2020 

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang highlighted Vietnam’s viewpoint that all countries have the common obligation and interest in respecting fundamental principles of international law

Malaysia calls for resolution of East Sea disputes based on int’l law
Malaysia calls for resolution of East Sea disputes based on int’l law
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  17/07/2020 

Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishamuddin Hussein on July 16 affirmed his country’s consistent position that parties should work together to ensure peace, security and stability in the East Sea.

Vietnam contributes to maintaining peace, stability in East Sea
Vietnam contributes to maintaining peace, stability in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  17/07/2020 

Since joining ASEAN on July 25, 1995, Vietnam has always proactively communicated and cooperated with other member countries on promoting the bloc’s common role and each member’s interests on the sea.

Australia affirms continued support for freedom of navigation in East Sea
Australia affirms continued support for freedom of navigation in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  16/07/2020 

Australia will continue to strongly advocate the freedom of navigation through the East Sea (internationally called the South China Sea), Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on July 16.

Vietnam welcomes East Sea stance in line with law: Foreign Ministry spokesperson
Vietnam welcomes East Sea stance in line with law: Foreign Ministry spokesperson
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  16/07/2020 

Vietnam welcomes other countries’ stance on the East Sea issue in line with international law, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said on July 15.

Philippines calls for China’s compliance with PCA ruling on East Sea
Philippines calls for China’s compliance with PCA ruling on East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  14/07/2020 

The Philippines on July 12 renewed its call for compliance with the ruling issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) four years ago which rejected China’s claims in the East Sea.

US rejects China’s claims to resources across most of East Sea
US rejects China’s claims to resources across most of East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  14/07/2020 

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo affirmed on July 13 that China’s claims to offshore resources across most of the East Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them.

Peaceful life on Truong Sa
Peaceful life on Truong Sa
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  07/07/2020 

Forty-five years after the reunification in 1975, generations of soldiers and people in Truong Sa island district, Khanh Hoa province, have steadfastly stayed on the islands and continue to work on the sea. 

Flag-raising ceremony on Ly Son island
Flag-raising ceremony on Ly Son island
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  06/07/2020 

Flag-raising ceremony is a long-held tradition of locals on Ly Son island, Quang Ngai province, to pay tribute to late soldiers who spent their lives safeguarding Vietnam’s sovereignty over sea and islands.

Philippines criticises Chinese military drills in East Sea
Philippines criticises Chinese military drills in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  04/07/2020 

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has raised alarm over China's holding of military exercises in the East Sea, saying the move could create tension in the region and impact Beijing’s relationship with its neighbours.

US Defence Department voices concern about China’s military drills in East Sea
US Defence Department voices concern about China’s military drills in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  04/07/2020 

The US Department of Defence on July 2 voiced its concern about China’s decision to conduct military exercises around the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago in the East Sea on July 1-5.

Vietnam objects to China’s military drills in Hoang Sa
Vietnam objects to China’s military drills in Hoang Sa
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  03/07/2020 

Vietnam has issued a note to China to protest an illegal military drill conducted on islands that rightfully belong to Vietnam.

Quang Tri exhibition features Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa, Truong Sa
Quang Tri exhibition features Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa, Truong Sa
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  02/07/2020 

A mobile exhibition giving visitors an insight into the historical and legal evidence proving Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos was opened in Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri on July 1.

Ethnic soldiers proudly serve on Son Ca Island
Ethnic soldiers proudly serve on Son Ca Island
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  01/07/2020 

Lieutenant Pham Cong Giap and Thap Van Hoan are two special soldiers working on the Son Ca (Sand Cay) Island.

Russian Academy of Sciences holds webinar on East Sea
Russian Academy of Sciences holds webinar on East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  22/06/2020 

The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) held a webinar on conflicts in the East Sea and current challenges and threats on June 20, attracting around 30 leading experts and scholars in Asian-Pacific-related issues in Russia.

Vietnam requests China to investigate incident related to Vietnamese fishing vessel in Hoang Sa
Vietnam requests China to investigate incident related to Vietnamese fishing vessel in Hoang Sa
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  14/06/2020 

Vietnam has affirmed its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago and requested China to investigate the incident involving the acts of Chinese vessels against a Vietnamese fishing boat in the archipelago’s waters on June 10.

Vietnam calls on countries to contribute to peace, security in East Sea
Vietnam calls on countries to contribute to peace, security in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  12/06/2020 

Countries need to act responsibly in the East Sea, not complicate the situation, and contribute to preserving peace and security in the waters, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang has said.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN