• Sat
  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Updated: 8:12am

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

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.
Vietnam fight? Ha! They'll have to hide behind their women!
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.
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.
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.

Divoce proceeding continues...the whole world is watching...
"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
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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