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Analysis

The United States strives to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific strategy to contain China

UntitledIn November 2017, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit held in Da Nang-Vietnam, US President Donald Trump introduced the concept of a "free and open Indo-Pacific,” and said it would support the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in investing in high quality infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific, and incentivize private sector investment, become an alternative to state-directed initiatives for countries in the region.

While the Trump administration's Indo-Pacific concept was not clear at the time, with the policy framework not yet in place, analysts say that the US’ free and open Indo-Pacific strategy was to counterbalance China's "Belt and Road Initiative”, preventing China from expanding its influence in the region and the world. This strategy was later adopted by three other countries in the region - Japan, Australia, and India, which later became known as the "Quad" (including the United States).

Vietnam should take a tougher stand against Chinese encroachment

2As Chinese Haiyang Dizhi 8 geological survey vessel group repeatedly violated Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf since early July 2019 – not only moving closer to the Vietnamese coast, expanding its activity scale, but also increasing its aggressiveness, the Institute for Legal and Development Policy Studies on October 6, 2019 held a seminar on the South China Sea in Hanoi. Many researchers, experts and former officials, including Dr. Hoang Ngoc Giao, Mr. Hoang Viet, Major General Le Van Cuong, former Ambassadors Nguyen Truong Giang, Nguyen Trung and Truong Trieu Duong participated in the seminar.

Participants in the discussion shared the view that the aggressive activities of Chinese Haiyang Dizhi 8 geological survey vessel group in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf were "extremely serious"; China's escalating moves in this area of the South China Sea are "putting Vietnam in a very dangerous position".

China continues to push forth its encroachment of in Vietnam's waters

1The latest tracking data that Ryan Martinson from the US Naval War College updated on September 30 showed China's Haiyang Dizhi 08 returning to Vietnam's waters for the fourth time.

China’s Haiyang Dizhi 08 vessel group increased its violations by sailing further into the waters of Vietnam, only about 100 nm away from the Vietnamese coast. The areas where the vessel group operates this time were the nine oil and gas blocks which China illegally invited for bidding in 2012.

This area is completely within Vietnam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf measuring from its central and southern coasts, overlapped with oil and gas blocks which Vietnam is oil and gas production contracts with foreign partners from Russia, India, USA, etc.

US, China rivalry puts Vietnam in a no-win bind

US-China-Vietnam-Diplomacy-Global-Times-900x540When a Chinese survey ship departed energy-rich waters claimed by Vietnam, many saw the two sides’ three-month standoff over the Vanguard Bank as indication that Hanoi is becoming bolder in challenging Beijing in the South China Sea.

Over the last three years, China has forced Vietnam to cancel two oil exploration projects in the sea, including one with Spanish energy giant Respol, as Hanoi opted for conciliation over confrontation in both instances.

There were even reports in 2017 that Beijing had threatened to use force if Hanoi did not shut down energy exploration in a contested sea area. In the latest showdown, Vietnam attempted to engage Beijing “at least 40 times”, according to one strategic analyst, while not yielding its position.

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South China Sea chaos: China accused of ramping up tensions with surveillance balloons

tải xuốngCHINA has been accused of creating an early warning system to protect its illegal island fortress on the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Satellite images showing surveillance balloons above the man-made Mischief Reef have been seen as further evidence of China’s militarisation of the strategic stretch of water which also is claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Defence analysts said the balloons were capable of carrying array radars, infra-red and optical sensors and electronic jamming and surveillance devices which could form an airborne warning and control system.

They said the balloons effectively completed an overlapping network of radars and satellites reaching far into the South China Sea to detect low-flying aircraft and small vessels and enabling Beijing to put the whole region in lockdown.

Mischief Reef is believed to boast bomb-proof aircraft hangars, underground fuel storage facilities and ammunition bunkers.

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ASEAN and the South China Sea: Vietnam's Role as Chair

Asean handshakeOn November 4, the ASEAN chair’s gavel was passed to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam at the closing ceremony of the grouping’s annual summit in Bangkok. Vietnam will serve as the chair of ASEAN, the most important international organization in Southeast Asia, through 2020. This will be a crucial year for the grouping as it attempts to reach the goals set forth in the ASEAN Vision 2020, which was released in 1997 and envisions the establishment of a region of peace, prosperity, and stability. It is especially significant for Vietnam because the chairmanship will offer a unique opportunity to engage the region to take constructive action on the South China Sea disputes which have long threatened regional peace and security. With the chairmanship in hand, now is the time for Hanoi to be more active in fulfilling both its regional and its national responsibilities in the South China Sea.

ASEAN and the South China Sea: Vietnam's Role as Chair

China’s scheming tricks for the "nine-dash line" propaganda

http   com.ft.imagepublish.prod.s3.amazonawsFor a long time, Chinese authorities and media have used every means to propagate its irrational "nine-dash line" claim in the South China Sea. We may still remember that 10 years ago, after sending the "nine-dash line" map to the United Nations in 2009, China started to actively propagate this irrational claim.

In 2012, China printed the "nine-dash line" in the passports of Chinese citizens, which faced strong opposition from other countries. The Philippines and Vietnam have refused to stamp visas on China's electronic passports and granted stapled visas instead.

Has it been recently that "the South China Sea is still peaceful?"

From perspective of FrenchOverthe last year, since August 2018, China and ASEAN countries have reached the single draft negotiating text on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) and after that China has been propagating to the public opinion that "the South China Sea is still peaceful", causing public opinion in and outside the region to mistakenly believe that the South China Sea is truly peaceful and therefore somewhat distracting. But the truth is not so. In fact, many of China's actions have made the South China Sea situation still very complicated, attracting attention and monitoring not only from regional researchers but also from the European strategic ones. Recently, several French strategic research agencies have made assessment of what China is doing in the South China Sea. Accordingly, China has been involving in the follows:

Vietnam should take a tougher stand against Chinese invasion

Bài 2As Chinese Haiyang Dizhi 8 geological survey vessel group repeatedly violated Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf since early July 2019 – not only moving closer to Vietnamese coast, expanding its activity scale, but also increasing its aggressiveness, the Institute for Legal and Development Policy Studies on October 6, 2019 held a seminar on the South China Sea in Hanoi. Many researchers, experts and former officials, including Dr. Hoang Ngoc Giao, Mr. Hoang Viet, Brigadier Le Van Cuong, former Ambassadors Nguyen Truong Giang, Nguyen Trung and Truong Trieu Duong participated in the seminar.

What Vietnam needs to do to counter Chinese intrusion in the Vanguard Bank

f4120906-c01b-11e9-8f25-9b5536624008 image hires 031641From July 3, 2019, Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 entered the Vanguard Bank in Vietnam's EEZ to "conduct a seismic survey". This is the most serious incident by China in the last 5 years since its installation of the Haiyang Shiyou – 981 oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in 2014. Vietnam is now managing and enforcing its sovereignty over the area by building many rigs in her southern continental shelf.

Laying bare opportunists in Beijing

f4120906-c01b-11e9-8f25-9b5536624008 image hires 031641Taking advantage of the problems facing the United States and its in Iran in the Gulf region and the fact that international opinion is focusing on the developments in the area, China has sent 08 Hai Duong Coast Guard ship to the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam (in the Southern part of the South China Sea) to conduct surveys since the beginning of July 2019. Escorting ships are Chinese law enforcement vessels and many militia fishing vessels (ships of the marine militia covered as fishing vessels), including China’s 12,000 tons 3901 Coast Guard ship.

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