Monday, May 26, 2014

Chinese Boat Attacks, Sinks Vietnam Fishing Vessel, Vietnam Says

Chinese Boat Attacks, Sinks Vietnam Fishing Vessel, Vietnam Says

A Chinese vessel attacked and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat in disputed waters off Vietnam ’s coast, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said. The 10 fishermen on board were rescued by other Vietnamese boats after the sinking yesterday around 17 nautical miles (19.5 miles) from a Chinese oil rig located…

China Sinking Fishing Vessel Raises Tensions With Vietnam

Photographer: VNExpress/AFP/Getty Images
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Vietnam said a Chinese vessel sank one of its fishing boats, the most serious bilateral standoff since 2007 and a move that underscores China’s assertiveness in pushing its claims in the disputed South China Sea.
“It was rammed by a Chinese boat,” ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said by phone of the Vietnamese vessel. The 10 fishermen on board DNa 90152 were rescued by other Vietnamese ships after yesterday’s scrap, according to a Vietnamese government statement posted on its website. Some 40 Chinese fishing vessels encircled a group of Vietnamese boats in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, it said.
China’s 2012 success in assuming control of the Scarborough Shoal, an area previously overseen by the Philippines, highlighted to nations from Vietnam to Japan the potential consequences of Chinese push to assert claims in neighboring bodies of water. Yesterday’s incident came after Chinese aircraft flew close to Japanese planes on May 24 in disputed airspace in the East China Sea.
“The message China is sending Vietnam is, this area of water is Chinese territory,” Ha Hoang Hop, visiting senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, said by phone of the boat sinking. “Yesterday a spokesman for China said Vietnam’s claims are ‘ridiculous.’ They are escalating things at sea and with their language.”
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Oil Rig

China’s placement of an oil rig near the contested Paracel Islands sparked violent protests in Vietnam this month and led China to send ships to evacuate workers from the country after three Chinese nationals were killed. It spurred confrontations between coast guard vessels, including the use of water cannons and accusations of boats being rammed. China says the rig is in its territory and that it has long drilled in the area.
The tensions come as China’s President Xi Jinping expands the country’s naval reach to back its assertions in the South China Sea that are based on the “nine-dash line” map, first published in 1947. That map extends hundreds of miles south from China’s Hainan Island to equatorial waters off the coast of Borneo. China and Vietnam both claim the Paracels, and Association of Southeast Asian Nations members Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines have claims to other areas of the South China Sea.
China’s actions violate international law and threaten peace, security and freedom of navigation, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said on May 22 in Manila. Tensions in the South China Sea risk disrupting the flow of goods, Dung said, with the resource-rich waters taking in some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Second Phase

The first phase of the drilling, which began May 2 off Zhongjian Island in the Xisha Islands, as the Paracels are known in Chinese, has been completed, China Oilfield Services Ltd. (2883), which is conducting the operation, said in a statement today. Exploration has moved to another place and is expected to end in mid-August, according to the statement.
China and Vietnam fought a border war in 1979, with China having forcibly taken the Paracel Islands from Vietnam five years earlier. In 1988, a Chinese naval attack in the Spratly Islands, which Vietnam also lays claims to, killed 64 Vietnamese border guards as China seized seven atolls. In 2007, Chinese naval patrol vessels fired on a Vietnamese fishing boat, killing one sailor.
In March 2013, Vietnam’s government lodged a protest after it said a Chinese ship fired on a fishing vessel near the Paracel Islands and caused a cabin fire.

‘No Compromise’

Vietnam’s leaders will probably protest the latest incident, according to Xu Liping, researcher at the National Institute of International Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.
“But from China’s point of view it reflects China’s determination -- that there will be no compromise on the problem of the Xisha islands,” Xu said. “Vietnam will likely counter-attack, stir-up domestic opinion or send fishing boats to disturb our drilling platforms. This will continue but slowly it will get less, when they realize their disturbances have no use,” he said.
Vietnam’s benchmark VN Index (VNINDEX) of shares rose 0.1 percent at 9:22 a.m. local time. The gauge has retreated about 10 percent from this year’s high on March 24. The dong was little changed at 21,140 per dollar today.
Markets have “discounted the news on China-Vietnam tension and investors may not be as panicked as before,” Hoang Viet Phuong, the director of institutional research and investment advisory at Saigon Securities, said by phone.

Code of Conduct

Addressing the actual territorial claims will take a long time, Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said yesterday in an interview.
“What’s achievable is to try and have a code of conduct that tries to work out how the countries, countries’ ships and so on interact with each other, what can be done, what cannot be done, what kind of conduct is acceptable, what kind of conduct is unacceptable,” he said.
Asean has called for progress on the code with China that would seek to preserve freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Talks have made little headway since China agreed in July to start discussions, with China introducing fishing rules in January requiring foreign vessels to seek permission before entering waters off its southern coast.

Japan Aid

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he hoped to boost maritime aid to Vietnam. Beijing’s “unilateral drilling activities” have raised tensions in the area, Abe told the Wall Street Journal in an interview May 23.
Japan is separately embroiled in a dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea. Its Defense Ministry said May 24 that Chinese SU-27 fighter jets flew unusually close to two of its military planes.
The sinking of the Vietnamese boat reflects “very dangerous actions which threaten human life,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters today in Tokyo. “It is important that all nations work for the return to regional stability, act calmly, carefully in accordance with international law, and don’t act unilaterally to increase tensions.”
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: John Boudreau in Hanoi at; Henry Sanderson in Beijing at
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at Neil Western
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Chinese Boat Attacks, Sinks Vietnam Fishing Vessel, Vietnam Says

China may be getting bogged down in it's own Viet Nam War like the Soviets got bogged down in Afghanistan in the 1980s. However, that war and Chernobyl collapsed the Soviet Government. This war could also sink the Chinese government on many levels worldwide as well.

The whole world is watching China right now.

Another point I'd like to make is starting a proxy war in Viet Nam might be what the Chinese government wants to take heat off it for the 2008 like events regarding property happening in China much like the U.S. in 2008. So, it might need to divert attention from China's government policy failures in order to not collapse the Chinese government. However, that is sort of tricky because a government can collapse from external actions or it can collapse from internal actions or both at the same time. Likely both events will plague China for 2 to 5 years or more at this point.

China is a victim of it's own success. Now the people that didn't succeed but who were bulldozed over by China's success might have their day.


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