Archive for the ‘dispute’ Category

Spratlys: China Worried At Nervousness Over Seismic Survey

March 13, 2008

By TERESA CEROJANO,Associated Press Writer 

MANILA, Philippines – China said Thursday it is concerned that controversy over its joint study with the Philippines and Vietnam to find possible petroleum reserves in the disputed South China Sea may harm relations with Manila.
A Chinese patrol boat.
Filipino lawmakers have filed several bills in Congress calling for a probe into the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking to see if it compromised their country’s sovereignty and territorial claims to portions of the Spratly Islands.

The move follows media reports that the agreement covers Philippine territory not even claimed by China, and was allegedly signed in exchange for Chinese loans for overpriced projects.

The three-year seismic survey that ends in June 2008 is intended to detect petroleum reserves in the South China Sea. The possibility of oil and gas revenues is one reason why the remote Spratlys are under such dispute.

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Vietnam Police Probe Church Land Dispute

January 29, 2008

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Police in Vietnam’s capital have launched a criminal investigation into Catholic Church protests over a land dispute, while state-run media accused church leaders Tuesday of abusing their power to incite followers to confront the Communist government.

Catholic parishioners and priests have been holding daily vigils for the past month at the disputed land, a block away from St. Joseph’s Cathedral in downtown Hanoi. They are praying, singing and holding candles while demanding the handing over of the land, which was taken by the government nearly four decades ago.Thousands of followers blocked the street Friday in the largest gathering, as many from outside Hanoi….

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People check decoration for Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, in ...
Tet decorations are all over in Vietnam despite the
church land dispute.

The old Vatican embassy, a former Hanoi church property is seen ...
The old Vatican embassy, a former Hanoi church property is seen Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008, in Hanoi, Vietnam. For several weeks, church leaders and their followers in Hanoi have been gathering daily to pray in front of the old Vatican embassy, one of many church properties taken over by the government after 1954. The church wants the government to return the one-hectare lot in central Hanoi, where such land is worth millions of dollars.

Vietnam, China Still At Odds Over Resources, Territory

January 9, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 9, 2008

China and Vietnam are engaged in a long-standing dispute over territory and resources in the South China Sea. Both China and Vietnam claim ownership of the Spratley Islands group.
A Chinese patrol boat. Vietnam has protested over Chinese military exercises in the disputed Paracel archipelago and reasserted its claim over the islands.
(AFP/File/Peter Parks)

Recently the intensity of the dispute came to a boil so intense that expatriate Vietnamese in the U.S. joined with their countrymen at home in objecting to China’s actions and intentions.

The Spratly Islands, a string of rocky outcrops in the South China Sea suspected of spanning large oil and gas deposits, are also claimed by Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.

China seized the Paracel Islands, a set of islets just north of the Spratly group, in 1974 and has occupied them since despite Vietnamese protests. But in 1974, Vietnam was in no position to contest China effectively. Hanoi was planning the takeover of South Vietnam and its capitol, Saigon, lay fixed in its sights. China exploited the Vietnamese during the war in Vietnam – then later said “Why did Vietnam not protest louder in 1974?”

Vietnam has long been wary of its bigger Asian neighbor and in 1979 the two countries fought a border war.

Chinese and Vietnamese forces clashed in the South China Sea in 1988 and 1992, and on both occasions the Chinese emerged victorious. Both countries have put forward historical and archeological evidence to support their claims in the disputed waters, and China has produced historical records showing it sent naval expeditions to the Spratleys as early as in 110 A.D.

In June, 2007, British Petroleum (BP) Plc halted plans to conduct exploration work off the southern Vietnamese coast, citing the territorial tensions. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Vietnam was stirring up trouble by agreeing with BP and its partners to develop the area.

On November 20, 2007, the government of China endorsed a resolution to establish an administrative city at county level named “Tam Sa”, which consists of three archipelagoes of Hoang Sa, Trung Sa (MacClesfield Bank, a submerged reefs of 6,250 square kilometers located on the east and about 250 km from the center of Hoang Sa), and Truong Sa, directly dependent on the province of Hai Nam. This province was established in 1988 after it was separated from the province of Quang Dong. Due to the sensitivity of the subject, the resolution has not been publicly released.

Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa (Spratleys) are located offshore of Vietnam.

In December, 2007, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news conference, “China asserts indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands.”

He added, “Recently in Vietnam there have been developments unfavorable to friendly ties between China and Vietnam, and we are highly concerned.”

Qin said Hanoi had to take steps to “prevent further developments and avoid harming bilateral relations.”

Mr. Qin Gang was undoubtedly referring to a dip in relations between China and Vietnam over the issue of the islands. Late last year, hundreds of Vietnamese youths staged public protests in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in response to the decision by the Chinese government to establish a new administrative city with control over the three archipelagos in the South China Sea, two of which are also claimed by Vietnam.

Bloggers in Vietnam launched upon a vocal and long-
term campaign of criticizing China as a result of the Spratleys issue. The noise made by the bloggers was so intense that China assumed the government of Vietnam had supported or at least sanctioned the activity.

A Vietnamese protestor demonstrates against a Chinese move to exert control over two disputed archipelagos 

China’s actions in the South
China Sea sparked protests
in Vietnam

The people of Vietnam have a deep sense that the
larger bully is getting away with victimizing the smaller
and less powerful neighbor.  In a sense, the Vietnamese
now understand how the Chinese in Taiwan feel about their large communist neighbor.

The issue between Vietnam and China remains unresolved and at this writing there is no clear path toward a resolution.  This means there is a simmering disagreement in the South China Sea that the international community ignores at its own peril.

Vietnam: Anti-China Rallies Worry Beijing

An Open Letter on China and Vietnam

Vietnam protests Chinese military exercise in disputed islands

November 24, 2007

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnam has protested over a Chinese military exercise in the disputed Paracel archipelago and reasserted its claim over the islands, state media reported Saturday.

China‘s act to conduct military exercises in the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago violates Vietnam’s sovereignty,” foreign ministry spokesman Le Dung said according to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
A Chinese patrol boat. Vietnam has protested over a Chinese military exercise in the disputed Paracel archipelago and reasserted its claim over the islands, state media reported Saturday(AFP/File/Peter Parks)

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