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Vietnam Weighs World Court Arbitration Against China if Maritime Diplomacy Fails

Viet

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By Ralph Jennings
August 26, 2020 08:36 AM
An oil rig (C) which China calls Haiyang Shiyou 981, and Vietnam refers to as Hai Duong 981, is seen in the South China Sea,…

FILE - An oil rig (C) which China calls Haiyang Shiyou 981, and Vietnam refers to as Hai Duong 981, is seen in the South China Sea, off the shore of Vietnam in this May 14, 2014 photo.


Vietnam is exploring the launch of an international arbitration case against China over a series of mishaps in a disputed sea if diplomacy fails, analysts believe.

Over the past six years, Beijing has authorized the placement of an oil rig in contested South China Sea waters and Vietnam has begun exploring for undersea energy in spots that Beijing considers sensitive.


China, Vietnam oil rig dispute, near Paracel Islands



In April a Chinese survey vessel sank a Vietnamese fishing boat. Vietnamese officials claim the sea’s Paracel Islands belong under their flag, though China has controlled the archipelago since the 1970s.

The Philippines, which spars with China over other tracts of the 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea, won world court arbitration in 2016. The tribunal found that China had no legal basis to its claims to about 90% of the waterway including tracts east of Vietnam. China rejected the outcome and stuck to its course but spent the next year improving economic relations in Southeast Asia.

“Through my own assessment of it, [for Vietnam] I think it’s probably one of the more palatable options,” said Derek Grossman, senior analyst with the Rand Corp. research institution in the United States. Whenever China offends Vietnam at sea, he said, “they get really, really apoplectic and then they start to think about what are some of the ways they can push back.”

Vietnam and China have been at odds over the sea and their land border for decades, straining relations between the two Communist neighbors. The Chinese oil rig sparked deadly anti-China rioting in Vietnam in 2014.

A protester gestures as he marches during an anti-China protest in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh city May 18, 2014. Vietnam…


FILE - A protester gestures as he marches during an anti-China protest in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City, May 18, 2014.
Vietnamese deputy foreign affairs minister Le Hoai Trung told an international conference in November that “arbitration” and “international litigation” were among the means Vietnam had explored.

This year Vietnam contracted a panel of international maritime law specialists to advise the government.

Grossman said he heard earlier this year from a Vietnamese official that the government was considering arbitration.

Foreign ministers from both sides met Sunday to mark an anniversary of a bilateral land border treaty, signaling that diplomacy is alive for now, said Nguyen Thanh Trung, Center for International Studies director at University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s role as 2020 chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gives it extra clout to push China over maritime issues.

“I think that they still want to rely on the bilateral mechanism and also the multilateral mechanism to settle their disputes between the two countries,” Nguyen said.

Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan claim all or parts of the sea as well. Governments prize the waterway for natural gas, oil and fisheries as well as marine shipping lanes.

Vietnam should show it has exhausted diplomacy before filing for any arbitration, said Carl Thayer, Southeast Asia-specialized emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia. The government in Hanoi would look too for a “critical moment” when its dispute with China had “crystallized”, he said.

Arbitration would especially appeal to Vietnam if China declared an air defense zone over the disputed sea, a threat to the activities of other Asian countries.

Diplomacy is “increasingly not effective” because “China is not listening”, said Alexander Vuving, professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii. Vietnam’s military can’t compete with China’s, he added. “That narrows down the viable options that Vietnam can take,” Vuving said.

Vietnam must approach any world tribunal cautiously because some of its holdings in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands are too tiny to justify establishing an exclusive ocean economic zone around them, scholars caution.

China would react angrily if called to arbitration, Nguyen said. It might scale back economic relations and become more aggressive toward Vietnam at sea, scholars say. The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, a foundation for world arbitration, does not force either side to carry out arbitration results.

But ASEAN could use a Pro-Vietnam arbitration outcome as pressure to make China comply Thayer said. External “maritime powers” such as the United States and Japan would cite the award as a legal basis to push back against China he said.

 

Viet

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First, we must secure the military backing of the US/Japan. It’s absolutely certain Chinese will become aggressive and attack us.
 

Feng Leng

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Chinese diplomat’s election to sea tribunal with high count of votes reflects intl recognition: FM


Chinese Ambassador to Hungary Duan Jielong was on Monday elected as a member of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea with a high count of votes, which reflected the international community's recognition of China's claims and actions on maritime issues and was a "slap in the face" of the US, as the country had not accepted the law but instead pointed its finger at and smeared China's moves.

Duan is one of the six to have been elected in the first round of voting by the States Parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to become a judge settling maritime disputes, the Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.

Other members are David J. Attard of Malta, Ida Caracciolo of Italy, Maria Teresa Infante Caffi of Chile, Maurice Kengne Kamga of Cameroon and Markiyan Kulyk of Ukraine.

One of the tribunal seats has yet to be filled and a second round of restrictive voting will be held on Tuesday, reports said. The contenders will be Kathy-Ann Brown of Jamaica and Rodrigo Fernandes More of Brazil.

The tribunal is an intergovernmental body set up by UNCLOS and has 21 judges who hold nine-year terms. A third of the members are replaced every three years.

The election of Duan once again shows China's voice is reaching further into the international community, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"China's voice is gaining more recognition and support, which proves that the international community is recognizing China's important role given its past efforts," Li noted. "As the world's major powers have vast differences regarding perception of maritime rights, China's gradual prominence will help bring consensus in future disputes."

The US, which has no right to vote on the matter, has been seeking to stop China after Duan was nominated as a candidate, arguing that "Beijing has flouted international sea laws in the disputed South China Sea," US media outlet CNBC reported on August 3.

Li warned the US not to overestimate its ability to do evil in the international community. "This is no longer the era of Western-led colonialism, as countries are awakening their international consciousness," he said.

Shen Yi, a professor of international politics at Fudan University in Shanghai, told the Global Times that US' failure to intervene shows that the international influence of US hegemony is steadily declining, which is a foreseeable trend for the future. In contrast, China's international influence is growing "as a result of past contributions."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently attempted to smear China by accusing it of seeing the South China Sea as its "maritime empire." In a tweet in late April, Pompeo said, "The South China Sea is not China's maritime empire" and urged "free nations" to unite to prevent China from taking "more territory."

The US, which is thousands of miles from the South China Sea, has sought to dictate regional affairs, repeatedly sending aircraft carriers and warplanes to the waters to assert its hegemony. The US has also constantly tried to stir up the situation regarding South China Sea disputes.

By contrast, China has been committed to promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes with other South China Sea claimants in the region, said analysts. Thanks to the joint efforts of the relevant parties, negotiations on the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea are progressing steadily, the analysts noted.

Li warned the US to reflect on its responsibilities as a great power, considering its actions over the past few decades.

Since the establishment of the tribunal in 1996, three Chinese have served as judges: Zhao Lihai (1996-2000), Xu Guangjian (2001-07) and Gao Zhiguo (2008-20).


Our Judge Duan will rule that all rivers and lakes in Vietnam belongs to China!
 

IblinI

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First, we must secure the military backing of the US/Japan. It’s absolutely certain Chinese will become aggressive and attack us.
Give us a timeline, you have been crying out in loud in this forum since ever, what has happened?
 

Figaro

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Give us a timeline, you have been crying out in loud in this forum since ever, what has happened?
I seriously doubt the Vietnamese government believes conflict with China is any sort of serious possibility. You can tell by the slow pace of Vietnamese military modernization that they don't think conflict will happen any time soon ... otherwise why isn't Vietnam buying a lot of foreign weapons imports (which they are in a very good position to do due to their economy)?
 

IblinI

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I seriously doubt the Vietnamese government believes conflict with China is any sort of serious possibility. You can tell by the slow pace of Vietnamese military modernization that they don't think conflict will happen any time soon ... otherwise why isn't Vietnam buying a lot of foreign weapons imports (which they are in a very good position to do due to their economy)?
you can tell from their relatively faster build up in coast guard force but not navy.
 

Beast

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By Ralph Jennings
August 26, 2020 08:36 AM
An oil rig (C) which China calls Haiyang Shiyou 981, and Vietnam refers to as Hai Duong 981, is seen in the South China Sea,…

FILE - An oil rig (C) which China calls Haiyang Shiyou 981, and Vietnam refers to as Hai Duong 981, is seen in the South China Sea, off the shore of Vietnam in this May 14, 2014 photo.


Vietnam is exploring the launch of an international arbitration case against China over a series of mishaps in a disputed sea if diplomacy fails, analysts believe.

Over the past six years, Beijing has authorized the placement of an oil rig in contested South China Sea waters and Vietnam has begun exploring for undersea energy in spots that Beijing considers sensitive.


China, Vietnam oil rig dispute, near Paracel Islands



In April a Chinese survey vessel sank a Vietnamese fishing boat. Vietnamese officials claim the sea’s Paracel Islands belong under their flag, though China has controlled the archipelago since the 1970s.

The Philippines, which spars with China over other tracts of the 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea, won world court arbitration in 2016. The tribunal found that China had no legal basis to its claims to about 90% of the waterway including tracts east of Vietnam. China rejected the outcome and stuck to its course but spent the next year improving economic relations in Southeast Asia.

“Through my own assessment of it, [for Vietnam] I think it’s probably one of the more palatable options,” said Derek Grossman, senior analyst with the Rand Corp. research institution in the United States. Whenever China offends Vietnam at sea, he said, “they get really, really apoplectic and then they start to think about what are some of the ways they can push back.”

Vietnam and China have been at odds over the sea and their land border for decades, straining relations between the two Communist neighbors. The Chinese oil rig sparked deadly anti-China rioting in Vietnam in 2014.

A protester gestures as he marches during an anti-China protest in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh city May 18, 2014. Vietnam…'s southern Ho Chi Minh city May 18, 2014. Vietnam…


FILE - A protester gestures as he marches during an anti-China protest in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City, May 18, 2014.
Vietnamese deputy foreign affairs minister Le Hoai Trung told an international conference in November that “arbitration” and “international litigation” were among the means Vietnam had explored.

This year Vietnam contracted a panel of international maritime law specialists to advise the government.

Grossman said he heard earlier this year from a Vietnamese official that the government was considering arbitration.

Foreign ministers from both sides met Sunday to mark an anniversary of a bilateral land border treaty, signaling that diplomacy is alive for now, said Nguyen Thanh Trung, Center for International Studies director at University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s role as 2020 chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gives it extra clout to push China over maritime issues.

“I think that they still want to rely on the bilateral mechanism and also the multilateral mechanism to settle their disputes between the two countries,” Nguyen said.

Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan claim all or parts of the sea as well. Governments prize the waterway for natural gas, oil and fisheries as well as marine shipping lanes.

Vietnam should show it has exhausted diplomacy before filing for any arbitration, said Carl Thayer, Southeast Asia-specialized emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia. The government in Hanoi would look too for a “critical moment” when its dispute with China had “crystallized”, he said.

Arbitration would especially appeal to Vietnam if China declared an air defense zone over the disputed sea, a threat to the activities of other Asian countries.

Diplomacy is “increasingly not effective” because “China is not listening”, said Alexander Vuving, professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii. Vietnam’s military can’t compete with China’s, he added. “That narrows down the viable options that Vietnam can take,” Vuving said.

Vietnam must approach any world tribunal cautiously because some of its holdings in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands are too tiny to justify establishing an exclusive ocean economic zone around them, scholars caution.

China would react angrily if called to arbitration, Nguyen said. It might scale back economic relations and become more aggressive toward Vietnam at sea, scholars say. The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, a foundation for world arbitration, does not force either side to carry out arbitration results.

But ASEAN could use a Pro-Vietnam arbitration outcome as pressure to make China comply Thayer said. External “maritime powers” such as the United States and Japan would cite the award as a legal basis to push back against China he said.

Typical white trash article attempt to stir up emotion...

Vietnam foreign minister and Chinese counterpart just celebrate land boundary settlement and the western countries cant wait to try stirring trouble.


Vietnam will not seek tribunal method. Philippine try that and guess what? Zero effect and no benefit.
 

redtom

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The law of the sea judges the scope of the ocean, not the ownership of islands.Why does every country close to the United States try to ignore international laws like the United States?It's like an American infectious disease.

The United States likes to destroy the United Nations because the United States has enough power.For other countries, destroying the United Nations has no benefit at all.
 

Song Hong

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Vietnam has obtained maritime concession from China on Dao Bach Long Vi. The South China Sea 11 dash line became 9 because of this.

Unfortunately many Vietnamese got seduced by US. Then these Vietnamese go against China. US only bring death and rape to Vietnam. Please do not listen to US.
 

Mista

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why isn't Vietnam buying a lot of foreign weapons imports (which they are in a very good position to do due to their economy)?
Vietnam still has a large fiscal deficit, and any increase in spending should prioritize on infrastructure spending for long term economic growth rather than on the military. Because ultimately Vietnam still can't match China even if they pour their money into the military.

The wiser thing is to hedge between China and the US, which is what they are doing now.
 

Song Hong

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China has shown willingingness to consider claims of Vietnam. Below is the original 11 dash line claim by KMT. Now it is 9 dash line. The Dao Bach Long Vi goes to Vietnam.

And it was CPC who goes to the Island and evict KMT garrison, then handed it over to Ho Chi Minh.

Similarly China is willing to negotiate on the 9 dash line. But too many SCS littoral states have been posturing unreasonably because they feel papa USA will back them up.


 
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Viet

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Vietnam has obtained maritime concession from China on Dao Bach Long Vi. The South China Sea 11 dash line became 9 because of this.

Unfortunately many Vietnamese got seduced by US. Then these Vietnamese go against China. US only bring death and rape to Vietnam. Please do not listen to US.
What concession?
Vietnam and China agreed on demarc in the gulf of Tonkin hence the line was drawn as it is today. You mean Chinese can keep vietnamese waters while keep their own waters?
What logic is that?
Logic of a hooligan I guess.
 

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