Thứ Ba, 24 tháng 6, 2014

Vietnam Vows Stand Against China as Sea Collisions Continue

Vietnam accused Chinese ships of

ramming one of its fishing boats yesterday, saying relations

between the two countries have been “deeply damaged” by the

their standoff over a disputed oil rig in the South China Sea.

Vietnam’s sovereignty and security as well as regional

peace are “threatened” by China’s decision to place an oil rig

off Vietnam’s coast on May 2, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung told legislators in Hanoi. The friction at sea, which

has led to collisions, the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat

on May 26 and anti-China riots in Vietnam, is hurting ties

between the two communist countries, Hung said in his address.

A high-level meeting between Vietnamese leaders and China’s

top foreign policy official on June 18 failed to ease the daily

sea skirmishes near the oil rig. The dispute is fraying ties

between the communist countries and adding to regional tensions

even as leaders from both sides promised to manage disagreements

‘‘using peaceful measures.’’

The sea strife poses the most serious foreign policy crisis

for Vietnam’s leaders in decades, said Ha Hoang Hop, visiting

senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in

“Vietnam’s politburo is torn about their policy on

Vietnam’s relationship with China,” he said in a phone

interview. “The fear is China won’t compromise. The last chance

for sitting down and trying to resolve the dispute in the South

China Sea is this summer. Otherwise, Vietnam will bring the case

to an international tribunal.”

‘Bitter Fruit’

Yang Jiechi, China’s top foreign policy official, said in

Beijing on June 21 that his country “will never trade our core

interests or swallow the bitter fruits that undermine our

sovereignty, security and development interests.” China says

Vietnam has sent armed vessels to disrupt its oil operation.

China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea under

a 1940s-era map, including the Paracel Islands off Vietnam’s

coast and the Spratly Islands to the south. Vietnam and China on

June 18 held their first high-level meeting on the rig issue

after Yang visited Hanoi under the auspices of the annual China-Vietnam Steering Committee on Bilateral Relations.

In an interview posted on the government website June 21,

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang said his country “always

treasures” its relationship with China. He also said Vietnam

will “defend our land and sea.”

Sang quoted Vietnamese King Le Thanh Tong, “If you dare to

concede even a single inch of the land of our ancestors to the

enemy, it will be a crime deserving of death.”

To contact the reporters on this story:

John Boudreau in Hanoi at;

Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen in Hanoi at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Rosalind Mathieson at
Andrew Davis, Neil Western

Vietnam Vows Stand Against China as Sea Collisions Continue

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