• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 12:17pm

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

It is quite understandable why China would want to avoid international arbitration.
The 9-dash line would be seen to have no validity in international law. The Paracels, because their land area is so small compared to the landmass of Vietnam, would generate little more than 12 NM territorial seas. AND Vietnamese rights to a 200 NM EEZ would be recognized by an international tribunal.
Nevertheless, while the benefits of going down this path for Vietnam are great, there are risks given the ties Vietnam has to China.
Marcus T Anthony
China's policy in this respect is common knowledge. It is not news. Isolate, intimidate then dominate. It's a crude policy, and it's not working because it generates fear and mistrust, based as it is on the implicit power relationship of superior/inferior. None of the other other countries in the region want a return to the medieval world structure where they were overpowered by various Chinese/Mongol empires.
A total attrack on Beijing at the end. Go to hell, China
"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
How About
Yknot : define " international law".
in 17 century, Vietnam hang China's prince who was lost in battle against the Ngueyn Dynasty of VN. They don't mind to do that again. Just don't mess with VN.
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.
The only solution for bully is to hit it in the nose. Bullies can't think, otherwise, there wouldn't be one.
How About
China's has exercized much restraint as far as her sovereignty of Xisha is concerned, that's their default position, so let's see how far Hanoi will go on this one.
Marcus Anthony - In the modern age, these minions are still dominated by other powers. If not China, then it's Europe or the US. Time to wake up!



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