Vietnam-China 2012: Waves from the East Sea
VietNamNet Bridge - Although the relations between Vietnam and China made certain progress in 2012, unfortunately, China’s acts related to the East Sea conflict have affected the stable development momentum of the bilateral relations.

Cooperation between the two countries in 2012 was maintained and gained certain progress. Politically, the two sides continued exchange of high-level visits and meetings.

On the occasion of the Chinese Communist Party Congress, Head of the Party Central Committee’s Information and Public Relations Commission Hoang Binh Quan represented the Vietnamese Communist Party to celebrate the success of the Congress and transferred the congratulation message of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Exchanges between ministries, branches, localities and people continued to be implemented, such as the 13th Vietnam-China Youth Friendship Meeting in China and the 7th Conference of ASEAN-China People’s Friendship Organizations in Vietnam.

In terms of economic cooperation, bilateral trade turnover by October reached $ 33.67 billion (up 17.4%).

The situation on the land border and the Gulf of Tonkin was stable. For maritime issues, both sides discussed to implement the high-level perception.

Waves in the East Sea

Although the Vietnam-China ties in recent years had certain progress, unfortunately China’s acts in the East Sea have affected the stable development momentum of bilateral relations, which would have continued to be strengthened further.

2012 witnessed the escalation of China related to sovereignty disputes in the East Sea, especially in the second half of the year, which not only stirred up waves in the East Sea but also placed the relationship between Vietnam and China before profound challenges.

VietNamNet reviews some severe unilateral actions of China:

Establishing the so-called "Sansha" city




In July, China formally established the so-called "Sansha" city, based on Phu Lam Island, in Vietnam's Hoang Sa archipelago. Photo Chinadaily


The information about China’s establishment of the so-called "Sansha" city, which includes the island district of Truong Sa (Spratly) of Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam and the Hoang Sa (Paracels) island district of Da Nang, Vietnam, was released in June.

In July, China formally established the so-called "Sansha" city, based on Phu Lam Island, in Vietnam's Hoang Sa archipelago, despite the objections of the international community.

China urgently strengthened the so-called government apparatus of "Sansha" city by building ports, airports, bridges, offices, etc.

China also planed to build waste treatment works, apartments, roads in Vinh Hung or Vietnam's Phu Lam Island.

China held a flag raising ceremony on October 1 to mark its National Day on Phu Lam Island in the Hoang Sa archipelago.

On October 3, the Chinese navy’s Nanhai Fleet held an exercise in the waters of the Hoang Sa archipelago and five days later, China set up a meteorological station in the so-called Sansha City.

Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said the activities of the Chinese side has seriously violated Vietnam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, the international law, the basic principles on the settlement of sea issues between Vietnam and China signed in October 2011, going against the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South East Sea (DOC) signed in 2002 between ASEAN and China, making the situation in the East Sea more complicated.

Invitation of international bids for 9 oil and gas lots



The nine oil and gas lots that the CNOOC opened international bids for are entirely in the exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles and the continental shelf of Vietnam.


In June, China announced the opening of international bids for 9 oil and gas lot within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and Vietnam’s continental shelf.

In August, China again opened international bid for the oil and gas block 65/12, seriously violating Vietnam's sovereignty over the Paracel Islands.

Spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said, this action is illegal and invalid.

The nine oil and gas lots that the CNOOC opened international bids for are entirely in the exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles and the continental shelf of Vietnam

Vietnam asked China to immediately cancel the wrong biddings and not make any act that would make the situation in the East Sea more complicated and strictly observe the Agreement on the principles for the settlement of marine-related issues signed between the two countries, respect international law, especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982 and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

Seizing Vietnamese fishing vessels and fishermen

In 2012, China arrested 21 fishermen and two Vietnamese fishing vessels in the waters of the Paracel Islands of Vietnam.

In a diplomatic note to the Embassy of China, Vietnam protested the actions of the Chinese side that seriously violated the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Vietnam and asked the Chinese side to unconditionally release Vietnamese fishermen and fishing vessels, to stop the arrest and obstruction of Vietnamese fishermen in the waters of Vietnam.

China had to release 21 fishermen and 1 fishing vessels.

'U-shaped' passports



hina began issuing electronic passports with the U-shaped line in May.


China began issuing electronic passports with the U-shaped line in May. Shortly after it was discovered, Vietnam asked China to remove the wrong content on this passport.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said China’s act violated Vietnam's sovereignty over the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, as well as sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Vietnam to the relevant waters in the East Sea.

Escalating violations

November 23 - China published a map of "Sansha," which includes the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos and the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam.

November 27- Hainan Province ratified the revised "Charters on coastal border management and security of Hainan Province," which put the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa of Vietnam in the scope of application.

November 30- While Vietnam's Binh Minh 02 ship was conducting normal seismic exploration in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam, two Chinese fishing vessels deliberately obstructed and cut the ship’s cable, regardless of the warning signal of functional forces of Vietnam.

Linh Thu
Vietnam, China, East Sea, conflict, Paracel, Spratly
 
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