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International support needed to tackle China's actions in East Sea

Released at: 10:36, 08/11/2019

International support needed to tackle China's actions in East Sea

Delegates on the sidelines of the conference (Source: VNA)

Vietnam advised to seek international community's support in East Sea issues at conference on November 6 and 7 in Hanoi.

by Linh Chi

Vietnam should make greater efforts to gain stronger support from the international community in East Sea issues and hold more activities similar to South China Sea International Conferences, a leading foreign expert suggested at the 11th South China Sea International Conference in Hanoi on November 6 and 7.

Emeritus Professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia, Carl Thayer, was quoted by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) as telling reporters on the sidelines of the conference that Vietnam should also make the most of its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 to take the lead in speaking out against China’s actions in the waters.

Professor Thayer said China is promoting its nine-dash line claim in an attempt to unilaterally conquer the East Sea (as the South China Sea is called in Vietnam) to serve its ambition to become a rising power in Asia.

Sharing this view, Mr. Greg Poling, Director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the US-based Center for Strategic & International Studies, said that by making the nine-dash line claim, China is attempting to prevent Southeast Asian nations, including Vietnam, from carrying out oil and gas projects in the East Sea, according to VNA.

Mr. Poling was quoted by the news agency as saying that China wants to force regional nations to either stop exploration for oil and gas in the East Sea or from partnering with Chinese companies.

He said China has sent more and more ships to the East Sea and chased vessels and fishermen from other countries away from the waters. These are not actions of a nation that wishes to partner with regional states, he said, adding that China is seeking to force other countries to do what it wants.

To cope with China’s aggressive actions in the East Sea, Dr. Tomotaka Shoji from the Japan National Institute for Defense Studies suggested that the observance of international law must be closely monitored not only in the waters but also in any region in the world, VNA reported.

He said nations across the world should step up cooperation with regional countries and it is necessary to encourage the settlement of disagreements and disputes in the East Sea and other international waters based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to ensure safety and freedom of navigation and aviation.

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