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PRACTICES ON SOLUTION TO MARITIME AND ISLAND DISPUTES IN THE EAST SEA THROUGH INTL ARBITRATION

SCSC - On January 1, 2013, the President of the Philippines took the decision to file a lawsuit with the International Court of Arbitration against China under provisions of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Filipinos welcomed the decision of the President. Both the Senate and House of Representatives immediately adopted Resolutions expressing support to the above action.

Center for Vietnamese Studies, South Korea: WORKSHOP ON THE SOUTH CHINA SEA HELD IN SOUTH KOREA

(SCSC) - A scientific workshop on the South China Sea (East Sea) was held on May 27th in Busan, South Korea, with the theme “Policy Signs and Disputes on the Islands in South East Asia”.

The workshop gathered dozens  of experts, scholars and students from Yongsan University, Institute of Oceanography, Center for Vietnamese Studies, South Korea and Association of South Koreans Loving Vietnam (VESAMO), according to a source in the Center for Vietnamese Studies, South Korea.

‘Setting Aside Disputes and Pursuing Joint Development’ - A Sophisticated Plot of Beijing to dominat

During the visit to China by the Sultan of Brunei in early April 2013, the two sides issued a Joint Communiqué, pledging support to their businesses to carry out joint exploration and exploitation of maritime oil and gas resources under the principles of ‘mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit’, and affirming that such cooperation shall not prejudice the position of the respective countries in relation to maritime rights and interests.

As a result, the coastal states in the East Sea have been concerned that China would insist on this formula and request ‘joint development’ in their territorial waters.

MARITIME ISSUES- THE HIGHLIGHTS IN CHINA’S WHITE DEFENSE PAPER 2013

SCSC - On 16th April 2013, China released The White Defense Paper under the title “The Diversified Employment of China’s Armed Forces”. A new feature in China’s White Paper 2013 is, for the first time, it has a section on “Defending National Sovereignty, Security and Territorial Integrity”, which stresses that resolutely defending China’s national maritime rights and interests is the responsibility of the People’s Liberation Army.

China announced its first White Defense Paper in 1998, and this is the 8th White Defense Paper that China has released so far. Although their old-fashioned propaganda, such as “ China will never seek hegemony or behave in a hegemonic manner, nor will it engage in military expansion”, is repeatedly reiterated in the White Paper, China’s recent provocative actions in the East Sea and the East Sea have clearly shown Beijing’s real face and the nature of its defense policy.

PREVENTING DISCUSSIONS ON THE EAST SEA ISSUE: BEIJING’S PLOT SMASHED AGAIN

America’s New Asiatic Fleet?SCSC - After having used Cambodia as a card to disturb the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in July 2012, Beijing joyfully believed that their plot to prevent discussions on the East Sea issue was a success. From then on, they have hectically intensified their lobbies to persuade the ASEAN Member States and other countries to exclude discussions on the East Sea issue from international and regional fora.

Such short joy lasts no long. What have happened is opposite to Beijing’s expectation. Since early 2013, the issue of the East Sea has become a prominent topic not only at the official political fora but at the discussions of scientific workshops in a number of countries in Asia, America and Europe as well.

ASEAN COUNTRIES AND CHINA’S PROPOSAL TO “SET ASIDE DISPUTES AND PURSUE JOINT DEVELOPMENT”

SCSC - On 7 and 8 January 2013, the Global Times said Ma Keqing, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines met with the Inquirer Global Nation, a Filipino newspaper and proposed that China and the Philippines “set aside disputes and pursue joint development in the South China Sea”.

The Global Times later said that “the Government of the Philippines showed little interest in China’s proposal” and cited a comment by the Head of the Nanyang Research Institute of Xiamen University, China that “the proposal of setting aside disputes and pursuing joint development was initiated by Deng Xiaoping. China always pursues this policy but gains no support from neighboring countries”.

Remembering Hoang Sa

SCSC - Every spring and Tet that comes, countless children of Vietnam who are far away from home like me experience this inconsolable nostalgia for the Motherland, especially the nostalgia for the hallowed Hoang Sa archipelago.

Viet Nam is the country that has realistically occupied, exercised sovereignty peacefully and continuously over the Hoang Sa archipelago since the beginning of the 17th century.

CHINA IS INCREASINGLY AGGRESSIVE IN THE EAST SEA TO REALIZE “CHINESE DREAM”

Tàu Ngư chính Trung Quốc 306 đang hoạt động trái phép tại quần đảo Hoàng Sa của Việt NamSCSC - Following the closing remarks by General Secretary of China Communist Party, President Xi Jinping at the National People’s Congress on 17 March 2013, a wave of nationalism has arisen in China under the banner of the Chinese dream of “a great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” that President Xi Jinping had repeatedly quoted in his address.

Recently, many articles about the “Chinese dream” have been published on newspapers and web pages to affirm China’s peaceful rise policy and explain that its pursuit of the Chinese dream would bring about peace and opportunities to the world.

CHINA’S CHASING AND FIRING VIETNAMESE FISHING BOAT- AN INHUMANE ACTION

SCSC - Since the beginning of 2013, China’s law enforcement forces at sea have for a dozen times chased and suppressed Vietnamese vessels conducting normal fishing operation in the traditional fishing ground of Viet Nam’s Hoang Sa Islands.

It is worth noting that China’s navy also took part in this unlawful deed, the typical incident of which is Chinese “WANNING 786” navy ship firing to burn Vietnamese fishing boat No. QNg 96382 TS near Lincoln island in Hoang Sa on 20 March 2013.

THE EAST SEA ISSUE AND ASEAN UNITY IN 2013

SCSC - The East Sea issue made 2012 a difficult and challenging year for ASEAN. The Association’s unity was manoeuvred by Beijing, and it will be further tested in 2013 as the East Sea issue is believed to be among heated topics in ASEAN, ARF and EAS meetings as well as meetings between ASEAN and its partners.

As the Chair of ASEAN in 2012, a Cambodia ‘bought off’ by Beijing sought to exclude the East Sea issue from the agenda and documents of the relevant meetings of the Association in Cambodia at the expense of ASEAN unity. However, as the East Sea issue has become an international matter involving the interests of countries within and outside the region, Beijing’s attempt was unsuccessful.

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