Regarding the Paracel
Islands and other reefs and islands in the Spratly Islands, which
the People's Republic of China invaded and occupied in 1956, 1974,
1988, and 1992, the Vietnamese people will never accept any compromise
on the fact that they are the integral parts of Vietnam; and that
the Chinese government must be held accountable for all inhumane
damages caused to Vietnamese fishermen and their relatives. Any
compromise made by parties, including the goverment of the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam, either explicitly or implicitly to give up
part or all of this territory will be considered to violate the
sovereingty of the country and the people of Vietnam and such compromise
is totally illegitimate. NTHF, June 26, 2011.
for making one step closer to defeating Chinese government's expansionism
in the Southeast Asia Sea.
U.S. carrier group
patrols in tense South China Sea
Reuters | 2/18/2017
BANGKOK (Reuters) - A United States
aircraft carrier strike group has begun patrols in the South China
Sea amid growing tension with China over control of the disputed
waterway and concerns it could become a flashpoint under the new
China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday
warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty in the South
The U.S. navy said the force, including
Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, began routine operations
in the South China Sea on Saturday. The announcement was posted
on the Vinson's Facebook page.
The strike group's commander, Rear
Admiral James Kilby, said that weeks of training in the Pacific
had improved the group's effectiveness and readiness.
"We are looking forward to demonstrating
those capabilities while building upon existing strong relationships
with our allies, partners and friends in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,"
he was quoted as saying by the Navy News Service.
Vietnam police halt anti-China protest
Reuters | 1.19.2017
HANOI (Reuters) - Police in Vietnam's
capital stopped an anti-China protest within minutes on Thursday
at a ceremony to commemorate a clash between the two countries in
the South China Sea more than four decades ago.
The protest in Hanoi started after
a peaceful commemoration for soldiers of what was then South Vietnam
who were killed in 1974, when China seized the Paracel islands,
which it still holds.
Police dragged about 20 protesters
on to a bus after they ignored a warning to disperse and began marching
with banners and chanting "Demolish China's Invasion"
and other slogans.
The government and police made no
comment and state-controlled media did not report the protest.
China and Vietnam last week pledged
to manage their differences and safeguard peace in the South China
Sea during a visit to Beijing by Vietnamese Communist Party chief
Nguyen Phu Trong.
The potential for the busy waterway
to become a global flashpoint was highlighted last week when the
nominee for U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, told a Senate
hearing that China should be denied access to islands it has built
China Likely To Deploy Surface-To-Air
Missiles In South China Sea: Report
Vishakha Sonawane | Dec 25, 2016
China is likely to deploy the
“hundreds” of surface-to-air missiles dispatched to Hainan Island
at the man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea, two U.S.
military officials told Fox News on Saturday.
China had reportedly put up missile
systems to Woody Islands in the disputed region earlier this year.
This follows a report earlier this
month that said Beijing had build large defense systems on the South
China Sea’s disputed Spratly Islands. The Asia Maritime Transparency
Initiative, a branch of the Center for Strategic and International
Studies that started tracking China’s island buildup over the summer,
posted seven photos — dated between Nov. 10 and Nov. 29 — showing
several hexagon-shaped structures, evidence of “buried chambers”
and platforms “consistent with the pattern of larger anti-aircraft
Manila Times | 4.11.2016
L'auteur: Amb. Jaime Yambao
Le traducteur: Elizabeth Lan Tran
civilisation disparue sous les flots de l'Asie du Sud-Est ne mérite-elle
pas d'être immortalisée en donnant son nom à la mer qui l'a recouverte?
Cette erreur perdurait carte après
carte à travers les siècles dans l'absence de contestation de l'Asie
du Sud-Est. Effectivement, la notion même de l'appartenance à une
région désignée "Asie du Sud-Est" est encore assez nouvelle
parmi les peuples de la région, Même après que l'ASEAN soit devenue
une zone économique intégrée, peu de gens se reconnaissent Sud-Est
Asiatiques. La pétition de la Fondation Nguyen Thai Hoc mettrait
donc en épreuve le progrès de l'intégration de l'Asie du Sud-Est.
L'entité dite "Asie du Sud-Est", argumente de la Fondation,
est reconnue par l'ONU. Le succès de cette pétition prouvera si
cette unité existe non seulement dans le monde réel mais aussi dans
l'esprit et le coeur des habitants de la région.
By Amb. Jaime Yambao
Formerly Ambassador of the Philippines to Pakistan. He was also
the Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for European Affairs.
this sunken civilization of Southeast Asia be memorialized with
its name or identity on the sea that covers it?
The anomaly has been perpetrated in
map after map through the centuries in the absence of any protest
from Southeast Asia. Indeed, the consciousness of belonging to a
region called Southeast Asia is fairly new among the peoples of
the area. Even after Asean has become an integrated economy, many
of them have still to think of themselves as Southeast Asians. The
petition of the Nguyen Thai Hoc Foundation would be a test of the
progress of regional integration in Southeast Asia. The regional
unit called Southeast Asia, argues the Foundation, is recognized
by the UN. This petition’s success will prove whether this unity
exists not only in the physical world but in the minds and hearts
of the people of the region.
China has no historic
rights to resources in South China Sea, says UN-backed tribunal
In a landmark ruling on Tuesday (July
12), a UN-backed arbitral tribunal concluded that China has no legal
basis to claim "historic rights" to resources in the South
China Sea and it has violated the Philippines' sovereign rights
in the disputed waters.
In a 497-page ruling that overwhelmingly
favours the Philippines, the five-member tribunal said Beijing “had
no historic rights to resources in the waters of the South China
China's nine-dash line map of the
1940s claims nearly the entire South China Sea. It protrudes from
China's southern Hainan island, loops 1,611 km away towards Indonesia,
and then links back to the mainland in a cow-tongue shape.
The Emperor’s Mysterious Map and the
South China Sea
Is China censoring ancient clues to
the secret history of the Spratly Islands?
By John J. Tkacik, Taipei Times |
In the map quadrant encompassing
what we now know as the South China Sea was the legend, “The Great
Ming is renowned for the richness of its civilization. It comprises
all between the 15th and 42nd parallels. The other tributary realms
of the four seas are very numerous.”
A portion of an original 1602
Ricci Map at the University of Minnesota that has the legend about
the Ming Empire’s borders erased.Jun 27, 2016. Photo courtesy of
John J. Tkacik
During the late Ming, the northern borders of the empire stopped
at the 42nd parallel along the Great Wall that protected China from
northern tribes. In the south, the empire ended at the Paracel Islands
(Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on the 15th parallel in the South China Sea,
beyond which were the Ming vassal kingdoms of Southeast Asia.
The map was the collaborative work between an Italian Jesuit missionary
in Beijing, Matteo Ricci, and a famed Chinese geographer, Li Wocun
(李我存). Li compiled the data points for Ming territories, while Ricci
filled in the rest of the world and combined European and Chinese
geographic knowledge for the first time in Chinese or in any language.
Ricci’s map is precise documentation
that in 1608, Ming sovereignty stretched only as far south as the
Paracel Islands. The Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) , a
chain of rocks, reefs and sandbars known then as the “Long Sandbanks
of Ten-thousand Li” (萬里長沙), however, lay yet another 500km beyond
Ming waters, south of the 12th parallel.
Rare rallies in Vietnam
over mysterious mass fish deaths
Reuters | 5.01.2016
Hundreds of people demonstrated
in Vietnam on Sunday against a Taiwanese firm they accuse of causing
mass fish deaths along the country's central coast, with some also
blaming the government for a sluggish response to a major environmental
Image (Reuters): Demonstrators,
holding signs, say they are demanding cleaner waters in the central
regions after mass fish deaths in recent weeks, in Hanoi, Vietnam
May 1, 2016.
Though an official investigation has
found no links between the fish deaths and a $10.6 billion coastal
steel plant run by a unit of Taiwan's Formosa Plastics, public anger
against the company has not abated.
Hundreds gathered in Hanoi holding
banners that said: "Formosa destroying the environment is a
crime" and "Who poisoned the central region's waters?"
Others said: "Formosa out of
Vietnam!" and took aim at the government for being aloof in
what it now describes as one of its worst environmental disasters.
State-controlled media has not reported
any of the demonstrations.
Social media and witnesses said protests
also took place in central Quang Binh province on Friday, with fishermen
throwing fish on the highway after failing to sell their catch.
The accounts could not be verified by Reuters.
Australia to query
Chinese government over South China Sea claims
David Wroe, Philip Wen | 2.16.2016
Minister Julie Bishop plans to issue a "please explain"
to Beijing over its massive island-building program in the South
China Sea, amid fears the reclaimed structures could be militarised
by the Chinese.
The visit comes as the Turnbull government
continues to weigh up whether to join the United States in so-called
freedom of navigation patrols through the contested waters of the
South China Sea, designed to undercut Beijing's excessive maritime
claims and test previous pledges not to militarise the islands.
China has built military-grade runways
and massive lighthouses on some of the artificial islands, and is
working on port facilities that could berth naval ships. Beijing
has consistently denied it plans to militarise the islands, but
most experts say that is an obvious option available to the People's
Ms Bishop said she planned to push for an explanation when she meets
with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
mean things – China certainly sees it that way, so should we. Why
continue to give her a stick, albeit a rhetorical stick, that she
can hit us, her neighbors, and the international community with?
We can and should start simple—at least inside our government and
the Department of Defense (DoD).
Submitted for your consideration (pretend
this is a Rod Serling sounding voice). Imagine that the United States
diplomatic corps starting doing the sort of thing all of these less-than-cooperative
states like China, Russia, Iran, and Daesh (the Islamic State) have
been doing. Imagine calling things by a name that suits our purposes,
even if it is different than what is on a map. I propose we quit
calling the body of water that is surrounded on most of its many
sides by Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore,
Borneo, and Malaysia by another name other the South China Sea.
This was the name was given to it by Europeans, the Chinese simply
calling it the “south sea” for most of their own history. I propose
instead we call it the Indochina Sea. Period.
South China Sea: Time
To Change The Name – Analysis
South China Sea to Southeast Asia Sea?
The third challenge is how to
defuse, on a long-term basis the South China Sea disputes at the
mindshare level. Perhaps the time has come for the South China Sea
to be renamed.
One appropriate alternative – is to
call it the Southeast Asia Sea. The South China Sea was previously
called the Champa Sea after the seventh century kingdom of Champa
in today’s Vietnam. The point is, it was not always known as the
South China Sea. Apparently, a petition to change the name to the
Southeast Asia Sea has already been started.
The Philippines has also taken a similar
step by calling it the West Philippine Sea. “When people keep referring
to the South China Sea, there is a subliminal message that this
sea belongs to a country whose name appears in the name,” says a
Philippine Armed Forces spokesman. The online petition, by a Vietnamese
foundation, kicked off in 2010 with at least 10,000 supporters from
76 countries, addressed to the presidents and prime ministers of
11 Southeast Asian states as well as the United Nations and several
A people-driven initiative like this
is in keeping with the region’s vision – emphasised by current Chairman,
Malaysia – of a “people-oriented, people-centred ASEAN”. It would
be most appropriate if this initiative grows to become a collective
aspiration of the 600-million people of ASEAN and not just the ten
By Michael Mazza, nationalinterest.org
| May 17, 2015
The American delay in reacting
does not change the fact that China opted for a confrontational
course of action that would inevitably tempt crisis.
In this case, fortunately, American
action is better late than never. Although the new islands are almost
certain to remain, U.S. action can serve three ends.
Image (CNN): The littoral combat ship
USS Fort Worth conducts patrols in international waters near the
Spratly Islands as the Chinese guided-missile frigate Yancheng trails
In short, freedom of navigation exercises,
which is what the Pentagon seems to be contemplating, have the potential
to do some good. But now that Washington has issued its warning,
it is important that the president make the decision to act, and
soon. The longer he waits, the more entrenched Chinese positions
will become, both figuratively and literally. The Journal reported
that the U.S. military has not been operating within 12 nautical
miles of reclaimed features that it does not recognize as islands,
meaning that the United States risks acquiescing to limitations
on freedom of the seas as properly understood. China, in other words,
has already made progress in reshaping the South China Sea to better
suit its own interests and will continue to do so absent American
No legal basis in
China's nine-dotted line South China Sea claim: Indonesia adviser
(Reuters) - Indonesia does not believe maritime borders claimed
by China in the South China Sea have any basis in international
law, an adviser to President Joko Widodo told Reuters on Monday.
"In 2009, Indonesia sent its
official stance on the issue to the UN commission on the delimitation
of the continental shelf, stating that the nine-dotted line has
no basis in international law," said Rizal Sukma, foreign policy
adviser to the president.
"So, nothing changes."
Indonesia, which has no claims in
the South China Sea, remains a willing "honest broker"
in the territorial dispute between its neighbors and China, Sukma
(Reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing
by Simon Cameron-Moore)
year ago, the Nguyen Thai Hoc Foundation initiated a petition to
change the name of the South China Sea to the Southeast Asia Sea.
In the statement found on the Change.org website, the foundation
urged Southeast Asians to sign the petition to change name of the
sea to better reflect the region.
A year on, it has only reached about 50,000 signatures,
1/10 of their target. But it has since been reinvigorated following
heated arguments between the Chinese and Filipino governments over
Scarborough Shoal (you can read Rieya’s analysis about it HERE).
What does the low response to this petition really
spell for ASEAN and Southeast Asia? ASEAN is a detached entity that
Vietnamese stand up against China's
terrorist attacks and expansionism in the Southeast Asia Sea
Image (LB): People take to streets in Hanoi to protest
China's aggression on July 22, 2012.
Statements by Nguyen Hoang Vi, a human
rights activist and a female pro-reform blogger
"I, Nguyen Hoang Vi, a Vietnamese citizen has
become a "mobile prisoner" because I dare to obey the
Constitution, support a resolution of the Congress, fulfill my duties
to the country, take the streets to protest China for violations
of the territorial sovereignty of Vietnam."
"In the spirit of transparency, I continue to
publish all that have happened to me personally because I believe
that they also have happened to other people as well; and I do not
accept tricks of mental abuse against one individual, which have
been continuously and quietly carried out every second against individual
patriots after the excitement of the public of the 1 July 2012 demonstration
has been settled down."
a start, Asean must immediately propose that the area already be
declared a “Shared Regional Area of Essential Commons” or SRAEC.
Likewise, this conceptual entity must also be outlined
according to its factually precise geographic location on the global
map. Because it is clearly located within an area bounded by at
least seven littoral South-East Asian states all belonging to ASEAN,
it should instead be renamed as the “South-East Asian Sea”.
In general, the SRAEC has to be recognised and upheld
by all the common stakeholders presently involved in the region’s
mix of historical and legal claims in the South China Sea are inconsistent,
says Frank Ching. Beijing can’t have its cake and eat it.
The claims made by Southeast Asian countries rest
primarily on the provisions of the Law of the Sea. China, however,
is taking the position that its sovereignty over the territories
concerned precedes the enactment of the Law of the Sea, and so the
law doesn’t apply. History trumps law.
And, if history is to be the criterion, which period
of history should be decisive? After all, if the Qin or Han dynasty
is to be taken as the benchmark, then China’s territory today would
be much smaller, since at the time it had not yet acquired Tibet,
Xinjiang or Manchuria, now known as the northeast.
say South China Sea implies Chinese ownership of the disputed waters.
“Maybe what we should do for a start
is to change the name. Call it the Friendship Sea or Sea of Peace.
I think then we can start negotiating,” said Termsak Chalermpalanupap,
Director of ASEAN’s Political and Security Directorate.
An official from the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has suggested that changing the
name of the South China Sea may help kick-start negotiations to
resolve a longstanding maritime territorial dispute among China
and five other Asian states.
Jamphel Yeshi: “We are fighting
for freedom. The world should know this.”
Jamphel Yesh, a Tibetan man screams as he runs engulfed
in flames after self-immolating at a protest in New Delhi, India,
ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the country Monday,
March 26, 2012. - huffingtonpost.co.uk
"He will live on to inspire and encourage the
future generations of Tibetans." - huffingtonpost.co.uk
USS Kirk carried out one of the most significant humanitarian missions
in U.S. military history. Yet the story went untold for 35 years."
The men of the USS Kirk were trained
as warriors, not as caregivers. So they didn't think of what they
did more than three decades ago as significant. But their rescue
of 20,000 to 30,000 Vietnamese refugees, in the last days of the
Vietnam War, is now being recognized as one of the most important
humanitarian missions in the history of the U.S. Navy.
Image (courtesy of Hugh Doyle):
On April 29, 1975, as Saigon was falling to Communist North Vietnamese
forces, a small U.S. Navy destroyer escort ship, the USS Kirk, played
a dramatic but almost forgotten role in rescuing up to 30,000 South
Vietnamese. Here, a member of the USS Kirk's crew tends to a Vietnamese
armed escorts won’t assuage fears of Chinese assertiveness or expansionism.
If China is serious in protecting its
vessels against threats, it cannot ignore the greater malaise that
is lawlessness. Moreover, it should not act alone when the matter
at hand is a regional affair. If China is serious in preventing
the death of more sailors, it must do so under the framework of
joint-responsibility. Until the law is brought to bear over the
Golden Triangle, it does not matter how many armed patrols China
or its neighbors send to travel up and down the Mekong River.
letter will be emailed to the Mekong River Commission's Council,
comprised of Ministers from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia,
and hard copies of all the signatures will be presented to each
of the governments on Monday, April 18.
Next Tuesday, a crucial decision will be made over
the fate of the Mekong River in Southeast Asia. On April 19th, the
governments of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam will decide
whether to build the first dam on the lower Mekong mainstream, the
Xayaburi Dam. Located in northern Laos, this dam is the first of
11 large hydropower dams that – if built – would devastate the world’s
most productive freshwater fishery.
Mekong River Basin is defined by the land area surrounding all the
streams and rivers that flow into the Mekong River. This includes
parts of China, Myanmar and Viet Nam, nearly one third of Thailand
and most of Cambodia and Lao PDR. With a total land area of 795
000 square kilometres, the Mekong River Basin is nearly the size
of France and Germany together. From its headwaters thousands of
metres high on the Tibetan Plateau, it flows through six distinct
geographical regions, each with characteristic features of elevation,
topography and land cover. It would take 2 days of twenty-four hour
driving at 100 km per hour to drive the same distance as the length
of the Mekong River (4800 km).