• Tue
  • Jul 29, 2014
  • Updated: 4:10pm
NewsChina
DIPLOMACY

China wants to avoid court over maritime disputes, says Vietnam official

Official claims Beijing made several requests not to take maritime dispute to arbitration

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 June, 2014, 4:42am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 June, 2014, 7:49am
 

China has repeatedly asked Vietnam not to take the two countries' maritime territorial dispute to an international court, a top Vietnamese military official said yesterday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh said the country had yet to decide when to seek international arbitration but the decision hinged on China's actions in the South China Sea.

"They [China] have asked us several times not to bring the case to international court," Vinh said in comments to Japanese media that were provided to the South China Morning Post.

"Our response was that it's up to China's activities and behaviour; if they continue to push us, we have no choice. This [legal] option is also in accordance with international law."

Vinh's remarks came after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said that his country had prepared evidence for a legal suit challenging China's claim to waters off the Vietnamese coast and was considering the best time to file it.

Vinh held a bilateral meeting with Wang Guanzhong , deputy chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Party, on Friday in Singapore.

Chinese defence spokesman Yang Yujun said Wang and Vinh "candidly exchanged views" on security issues. But Yang would not confirm whether the issue of international arbitration was raised.

Relations between the long-time ideological allies have nosedived since China parked a state-owned oil rig in disputed waters off Vietnam's coast on May 1. The deployment, which Hanoi has said is a violation of its sovereignty, prompted large-scale anti-China protests in Vietnam.

The episode has also seen Hanoi step up its efforts to galvanise international support for its case.

Vinh said remarks by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel at the regional security forum had "great value and significance" in forcing China back to the negotiating table.

The strong remarks from Japan and the US, Vinh added, would also remind Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries that "the rig is not for Vietnam, it's for other countries as well".

China has responded fiercely to speeches by Abe and Hagel, who criticised Beijing for its "unilateral" and "destabilising" behaviour in its surrounding waters.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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This article is now closed to comments

53895a87-5f10-45af-95ea-67c80a3209cb
The Chinese greed are upsetting the peace and stability that has existed in this region for decades. By foolishly claiming 90% of the SCS without any legal basis, they have made instant enemies of not one but many countries. If their irresponsible provocations remain unchecked, will soon draw SE Asia into an unnecessary bloody armed conflict.
Chinese=Thieves
likingming
越南能提出甚麼證據?主要有幾樣。越南的學術界中人認為在17世紀越南已有人到過西沙、南沙,並且在1838年的《大南一統全圖》中有這些島嶼的記錄。在上世紀三十年代,越南的殖民者法國也曾宣稱擁有它們的主權,在1951年二次大戰結束後的《舊金山和約》中,法國又再宣稱其主權,與會國家,大多數並無異議云云。
  這些「理據」與中國的相比,真的是薄弱之極。若論誰先發現南海諸島,中國的考古略早已發現遠至夏朝,中土已有來自南海的玳瑁。中國古籍《逸周書》、《左傳》及《詩經》等有不少記載都顯示中國與南海有聯繫。王恒杰的考古工作中,也發現了大量來自南海的新石器時代及春秋戰國的陶器殘片,印證古籍中的記載並無虛言,中國先民在那裏生活過,歷史古遠。東漢光武帝時伏波將軍馬援曾派兵在南海出巡,宋代以後,中國人經營南海諸島的記載多得不可勝數,例如北宋的《武經總要》便記載了派水師在該處巡邏,甚至有重新界屯門到西沙的航線。1770年廣東人羅方伯在南沙的太平島上建了大伯公廟紀念他在南沙的開發活動。
  三十年代法國宣稱主權時,已遭到當時國民政府的抗議。《舊金山和約》並無中國代表參與,周恩來總理當時並已發表聲明,指出西沙、南沙為中國領土,不容置疑。越南在這些方面提出的說法,根本無效。
  但對越南宣稱的主權最大的打擊我相信有二。第一是台灣政府在1946至1950及1956年至今,一直都有派軍駐在太平島,並建有跑道,這是超過半世紀的有效管治,根據國際法,其他國家就算有其他理據,也難以挑戰內地或台灣一個中國對這些島嶼的主權,半個世紀是一個關鍵。第二是越南政府曾多次承認中國對南海諸島的主權。1956年6月15日越南外交部副部長雍文謙聲明:「根據越南方面的材料,從歷史上看,西沙群島和南沙群島應當屬於中國領土」。1958年9月4日,中國政府發表關於領海寬度為12海里的聲明,並指出這適用於西沙、南沙,越南總理范文同隨即聲明,承認和贊同中國的說法。現在越南卻說,范文同只代表北越,未代表南越,所以這聲明無效!國際法禁止「反言」的行為,越南此種辯解,不是無賴是甚麼?
req
Vietnam fight? Ha! They'll have to hide behind their women!
537ce134-5704-4443-853a-52b60a3209cb
Don't worry ASEAN nations with chicken guts. Whenever China coughed, you guys were trembling in the knees. Vietnam will do what is best for the region and will save your **** like they did before. Once awhile in China, a new rude aggressive Dynasty or government in power wanted to be Nazi to conquer Asia but they couldn't go pass Vietnam. regardless the size, we are not afraid fighting China.
TigerJ
Southeast Asian countries are a bunch of minions that are destined to be dominated by others... They are just pawns in the hands of Europeans, Americans and Chinese. They should shelve that unfounded pride.
537ce134-5704-4443-853a-52b60a3209cb
There is red Russia in Europe, Red China in Asia. The solution is to make these unrespectful two Commies hungry like they were in the 70s-80s by stop doing business with them. The West economy was much better in those old days. Secondly, there should be a NATO version in Asia to deal with China. Only Vietnam can fight China but with Western support, they can have Japan and Australia to organize SEATO and VN lead the battle. All other ASEAN countries are useless sissies when dealing with China, but make them provide financial support instead.
lib_prc

Divoce proceeding continues...the whole world is watching...
538af275-6480-4cbc-9c10-52ad0a3209cb
"China’s actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea are “unhelpful,” Australian Defence Minister David Johnston said at a security forum, echoing his U.S. counterpart who called China a destabilizing factor.
“They’ve been certainly unhelpful, and if they’re unhelpful they must be destabilizing,”
Defence Minister David Johnston says the government is "very concerned" by China's "destabilisation" of its neighbourhood in some of the strongest words yet over rising tensions in Asia.
China will get nothing from this. China is hurting herself. Hope she will think again
537ce134-5704-4443-853a-52b60a3209cb
The only solution for bully is to hit it in the nose. Bullies can't think, otherwise, there wouldn't be one.
Tim Zone
This is definitely not an attractive option, but as Thucydides argued long ago, in international politics “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

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