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DIPLOMACY

Vietnam reaffirms opposition to China's territorial claims

President Truong Tan Sang rejects 'nine-dash line' assertion by China during visit with Obama, but stops short of joining Philippines' UN plea

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 July, 2013, 2:31am

Vietnam's president has voiced firm opposition to China's claims in the South China Sea, but declined to back a bid by the Philippines to take the row to the UN.

On a visit to Washington, President Truong Tan Sang rejected China's "nine-dash line" through which it claims virtually all of the strategic sea, including islands close to neighbours.

"We cannot find any legal foundation or scientific basis for such a claim and therefore it is the consistent policy of Vietnam to oppose the nine-dash line plan by China," Sang told the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

But he declined to comment when asked if Vietnam would join the Philippines which in January said it was asking an arbitration panel of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to declare China's claims invalid.

"As a member of the United Nations, the Philippines has the legal right to carry on with any proceedings they would like," Sang said.

As a member of the United Nations, the Philippines has the legal right to carry on with any proceedings they would like
Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang

The Philippines and Vietnam have led criticism of what they consider increasingly assertive claims by China in the South China Sea.

The Philippines has had especially tense relations with China, which seized the Scarborough Shoal, an outcrop claimed by Manila, after a two-month naval stand-off last year.

But friction has eased slightly between Vietnam and China, with Sang visiting Beijing last month and agreeing to set up a hotline to try to prevent mishaps from escalating.

China separately has increasingly butted heads with Japan, which fears that Beijing is trying to exert control over resource-rich waters in the East China Sea.

Sang earlier met US President Barack Obama, who encouraged calm in the South China Sea.

Sang and Obama called for "the settlement of disputes by peaceful means" and renewed support for a code of conduct to manage potential mishaps.

It was the first visit of a Vietnamese leader to the White House during the Obama administration, and it took on an even greater strategic resonance, given Obama's determination to increase the US presence in Asia.

They pledged to deepen trade and military ties, even as they tangled over human rights.

Sang's visit follows a difficult period in which his regime has imprisoned bloggers, religious leaders and dissidents; curtailed labour laws; and again taken control of what one Vietnam expert called the "commanding heights" of the economy.

Obama referred gently to the issues, saying: "All of us have to respect issues like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly. And we had a very candid conversation about both the progress that Vietnam is making and the challenges that remain."

Sang, sitting next to him in the Oval Office, mentioned the legacy of the Vietnam war and said "we still have differences" concerning his country's human rights record.

Before the two parted, Obama referred to a letter that Sang had shown him. In it, the president said, Ho Chi Minh expressed his hope to then president Harry Truman that Vietnam could co-operate with the US.

"President Sang indicated that even if it's 67 years later, it's good that we're still making progress," Obama said.

Agence France-Press, The New York Times

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johnrai7
so vietnamese not gonna cry like filipinos, guess they will do or die... history gonna repeat itself, right ;)
jenniepc
Philippines claims,
The first official claim by the Philippine government cam in 1971, mainly in response to a Philippine fishing vessel being fired upon by Taiwanese forces stationed on Itu Aba Island. The Philippine government reacted by protesting the incident and then occupied and asserted legal title by annexing islands in the Spratly group.
US may not be necessarily a winner if the conflicts are escalated. It will not be the best interest of the US to involve in the conflict. I can personally guarantee that the disputes of South or East China sea will be a peaceful resolution and US interests in Asian continent will not be affected provided that US does not involve the conflicts.
Chinese sovereignty over South China Sea well documented, going back to Sung dynasty (12th Century) and in the records of Chinese navigators during the Qing dynasty (18th century). China has sufficient evidences to underpin its claims of sovereignty of the South China sea. Again, Chinese still prevail over other nations Under Modern International Laws as Chinese Kuomintang was first government to establish a physical presence on the Spratlys following Japanese departure after WWII.
In order to claim a sovereignty over islands of South China Sea. The countries must physical presence on the islands without any protest against its claims by other countries or it has never been claimed by other countries under modern international laws.
Jennie PC Chiang/江佩珍 07/27/13 美國
Part 2/2
jenniepc
Vietnam has claimed by compiled and set out from historic activities during the Nguyen dynasty (17th-19th centuries by the government in two papers. However, Vietnam’s evidence for asserting claims to title are diluted by the failure to specifically identifies and distinguishes between the Spratly and Parcel archipelagoes.
Vietnam bases its claims to sovereignty over the Spratlys by right of cession from a French claim to the islands first made in the 1933. However, France occupied Indochina and claimed control Spratly Islands yet the Islands were annexed by Japan. The Japanese and the French renounced their claims as soon as their respective occupations ended.
Historically, China sufficient evidences to underpin its claims of sovereignty of the South China sea. Chinese still prevail over other nations Under Modern International Laws as Chinese Kuomintang was first government to establish a physical presence on of the Spratlys following Japanese departure after WWII. Furthermore, (quoted from Vikipedia) In 1958, China issued a declaration defining its territorial waters within what is known as the nine-dotted line which encompassed the Spratly Islands. North Vietnam's prime minister, Phạm Văn Đồng, sent a diplomatic note to Zhou Enlai, stating that "The Government of Vietnam respects this decision. "The diplomatic note was written on September 14 and was publicized on Nhan Dan newspaper (Vietnam) on September 22, 1958.
Jennie PC Chiang/江佩珍 07/27/13 美國
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