Friday, July 27, 2012

Qing dynasty map shows no China claim in Spratlys

ABS-CBN Reuters Posted at 07/26/2012 6:26 PM  Updated as of 07/26/2012 6:26 PM

HANOI - Vietnam's National Museum of History displayed on Wednesday a map donated by a local historian that he said proved China had no claim to disputed islands in the South China Sea.

The map was donated by Dr. Mai Ngoc Hong who said it was a 1904 Qing dynasty map of Chinese territories that did not include the disputed Spratley and Paracel Islands.
"I have one wish that this map is known not only to the Vietnamese but also to Chinese people and scientists. The legality of this map clearly shows Vietnam's sovereignty over the two islands. There is no arguing about that," he said adding he spent a month's salary to pay for the map.
Beijing, which lays claim to the whole South China Sea, recently upset Hanoi after the government-backed China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) said it was seeking bids for oil exploration in what Hanoi deems Vietnamese waters, while Hanoi increased tensions last month by adopting a law claiming sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands.
Beijing's claims have recently sparked protests in Hanoi, despite the authorities rarely allowing public demonstrations.

The 74-year-old Hong said the Vietnamese people were strong.
"The Vietnamese are a special race. We are like a hard constrained spring. Use force on it and it will coil, and watch out when it does," he said.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa returned to Vietnam on Wednesday for the second time in a week to meet with his counterpart Pham Binh Minh to try to find a diplomatic solution to the row.

The 10-nation group Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) could not agree a concluding joint statement at a ministerial meeting earlier this month in Cambodia, due to discord over how to address China's increasingly assertive role in the strategic waters.
One ASEAN diplomat accused China of buying the loyalty of Cambodia and some other states with economic largesse.

Natalegawa has been shuttling back and forth between member countries in an attempt to bring about some sort of consensus. Indonesia, which is neutral in the issue has been tasked with drawing up a code of conduct for the area to prevent any acts of brinkmanship spilling over into the conflict.
Natalegawa said he hoped he could count on Vietnam's cooperation.

"Whatever are the issues, including the issues to do with the East Sea or the South China Sea, I am sure I can continue to rely on Vietnam to be a strong partner to be able to ensure the continued centrality and continued prominent role of ASEAN in the region's architecture building," said Natalegawa.
The Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan also lay claims in the South China Sea that includes sea lanes that carry an annual $5 trillion in ship-borne trade, particularly if it raises the prospect of U.S. intervention after the U.S. announced its "pivot towards Asia" strategy.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

China's hawks gaining sway in South China sea dispute

HONG KONG | Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:17pm BST

(Reuters) - China has adopted a more aggressive stance in recent weeks on territorial disputes in the South China Sea as hard-line officials and commentators call on Beijing to take a tougher line with rival claimants.
China's supreme policymaking body, the Politburo Standing Committee, is made up entirely of civilians, but outspoken People's Liberation Army (PLA) officers, intelligence advisers and maritime agency chiefs are arguing that Beijing should be more forceful in asserting its sovereignty over the sea and the oil and natural gas believed to lie under the sea-bed.

Most of them blame the United States' so-called strategic "pivot" to Asia for emboldening neighbouring countries, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam, to challenge China's claims.
"China now faces a whole pack of aggressive neighbours headed by Vietnam and the Philippines and also a set of menacing challengers headed by the United States, forming their encirclement from outside the region," wrote Xu Zhirong, a deputy chief captain with China Marine Surveillance, in the June edition of China Eye, a publication of the Hong Kong-based China Energy Fund Committee.
"And, such a band of eager lackeys is exactly what the U.S. needs for its strategic return to Asia," he wrote.
Most Chinese and foreign security policy analysts believe China wants to avoid military conflict across sea lanes that carry an annual $5 trillion in ship-borne trade, particularly if it raises the prospect of U.S. intervention.
However, they say Beijing is increasingly determined to block any unified effort from rival claimants to negotiate over disputes, preferring instead to isolate much smaller and weaker states in direct talks.
There was evidence of this harder line at an annual foreign ministers' meeting of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc earlier this month where diplomats said China's influence behind the scenes led to an unprecedented breakdown in the grouping's traditional preference for maintaining an appearance of harmony and unity.
The meeting in Phnom Penh ended in disarray without progress on a proposed code of conduct that was aimed at minimizing the risk of conflict in the South China Sea or issuing a concluding communique.
China's close ally Cambodia, the meeting's host, blocked every attempt to include tensions in the South China Sea on the agenda, said the diplomats from other member nations.
On the military front, China's powerful Central Military Commission has approved the formal establishment of a military garrison for the South China Sea.
The move, announced this week, is essentially a further assertion of China's sovereignty claims after it last month raised the administrative status of the seas to the level of a city, which it calls Sansha.
The official Xinhua news agency said the Sansha garrison would be responsible for "national defence mobilisation ... guarding the city and supporting local emergency rescue and disaster relief" and "carrying out military missions".
The city government is located on the 2.13-square km Yongxing Island, according to Xinhua, which contains a small military airport, a sea port, roads, a clinic, a post office and an observatory. This is in the Paracels, a group of islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.
A ship calls twice in a month from nearby Hainan province to serve its 613 residents.
Xu, a regular commentator on maritime security issues, is one of many analysts arguing that recent tensions are a direct result of the Obama administration's announcement late last year of a strategic shift which would eventually see 60 per cent of the U.S. navy's warships deployed to the Asia Pacific, up from the current 50 per cent.
The U.S. move is widely seen as a response to China's growing military power and increasingly assertive behaviour in dealing with contested territory.
China's recent rows with the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal and Vietnam over oil exploration rights have heightened regional fears that tension in the South China Sea could lead to armed conflict.
One of China's most hawkish army officers, Major General Zhu Chenghu, an influential teacher and strategy researcher at Beijing's National Defence University, has dismissed the entitlement of these rivals to the disputed waters.
In a speech to the World Peace Forum in Beijing earlier this month, Zhu said it was "unreasonable and illegal" for the Philippines and Vietnam to claim territory that historically belonged to China.
He said there had been no disputes in the South China Sea before the 1970s when maps published by rival claimants also acknowledged it was Chinese territory.
"Relevant countries did not begin to lay claim to islands and sea waters in the area until the discovery of large amounts of oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea," he said, according to an extract of his speech published in the official Global Times newspaper last week.
Zhu also blamed U.S. "meddling" for prolonging the current tension.
The retired general is best known for his assertion in 2005 that China should use nuclear weapons against the United States if American forces intervened in a conflict over Taiwan.
He escaped any serious censure over what he stressed at the time were his personal views and has since become a regular member of high-level Chinese military delegations in security talks with U.S. counterparts.
Other officials calling for a tougher line include Cui Liru, president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a Beijing think-tank closely linked to China's intelligence services, and Major General Luo Yuan, a retired army officer who is well known for his hard-line views and provocative media commentaries.
It is unclear how much sway these blunt speaking officials exercise over foreign and military policies or whether their views reflect official thinking.
But for the PLA, the persistent territorial disputes undermine a carefully-honed image as a force that will never allow foreign powers to encroach on Chinese territory as they did in the colonial period.
"The South China Sea situation is certainly highly frustrating for Chinese military officers," said Sun Yun, a Washington-based China security policy expert and a former analyst with the International Crisis Group in Beijing.
"If the PLA cannot even defend China's own territory at its doorstep, what capacity or legitimacy does it have to cruise around the world?"
Some top Chinese policy makers say neighbouring countries should accept that an increasingly powerful China would seek to re-shape relationships that had been established earlier when it was weak.
Stephen Hadley, former President George W. Bush's national security advisor and now a consultant, said when he was on a visit to Beijing earlier this month a senior Chinese official had told him that China's views should be given more weight now that it had become stronger.
In a talk to the Atlantic Council think-tank in Washington last week, Hadley said he could see some merit to this view but he added it could be a "destructive" way of framing issues.
"This new China is going to be hard to manage," he said.
However, notwithstanding the recent assertiveness and the bellicose statements of military and security officials, some analysts note that policy-making in China is not entirely in the hands of hawks.
"Given that all the members of the Politburo Standing Committee are civilians, their perceptions of the South China Sea issue are clearly more comprehensive than the generals," said Sun, the Washington-based expert.
However, others warn against making distinctions between the views of China's military brass, civilian leaders and diplomats.
Dean Cheng, a China security expert at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, said Beijing was hardening its stance in the South China Sea and also in other maritime areas where it had disputes with Japan and South Korea.
"We have a broad set of hardliners, not just in uniform, but across the board," he said.
(Additional reporting by Paul Eckert in Washington; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chinese Expansionism - New danger of the world

By Tran Kinh Nghi-Independent researcher

Why China having  no neighbor friends  
China's history is that of encroachment, annexation  and expansion over   territories of  neighboring states for thousands of years . With the traditional closed society as indicated with the Great Wall, the Forbidden City or even private houses rounded by walls, and only strong in ground forces, the acient Chinese dynasties never sent their  armies to invade territories or islands far beyond their bounderies.  Unlike the British Empire, France or the United States ...., the Chinese used the method of encroaching nearby neighboring lands at the same time  with various tricks to  assimilate for long-termed permanent annexation to build up its national territorial integrity. That was the way they used to annex dozens of Hundred Beiyue kingdoms during  prehistoric times and are now doing so with Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Taiwan .... They are also plotting to do so with India, Siberia and Central Asia, Vietnam and Korea, Myanma, Laos. Only recently they began to realize the importance of the sea, so late but still trying to punch away some "left food" and hoping to wrest back what are already belong to others. With such  invasive manner  in relations with neighboring states, China has virtually no friends with near neighbors but only longtime enemies. This is indeed a historical truth. 
Comparing territory of prehistory China with present  

Now with the aggressively invasive scheme over the East Sea (South China Sea) China  is causing more new hatred. Among them, Vietnam has become  the first victim, because the East Sea is the gateway, a facade and the blood of nearly a hundred million people . Legally, Vietnam is the only one with sufficient evidence of history and international law to claim at least the western part of the East Sea, including Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos. However, China had used force to seize the Hoang Sa from South Vietnam government in 1974 and later in 1988 to invade some rocks and reefs at  the Truong Sa archipelago of the then united Vietnam

Knowing itself lacking of  legal basis, China always boasts about the so-called "historical evidences" by the  9-dotted line that was self drawn without basing on  any kind of conditions. To avoid the ax of international communities , Beijing sponsors the policy of  "bilateral negotiations" and resolutely refusing multilateral talks in order to take advantage of it's  overwhelming strength over the weak. Everyday thousands of Chinese fishing vessels accompanied by naval war- ships illegally exploiting traditional fishing zones of Vietnam, the Philippines and other littoral states. Most recently 30 ships are stationing illegally at the Truong Sa islands of Vietnam.  Those brazen acts of provocation are rooted from bestowed Chinese tradition of using force. 

Be ware of  Great Han hegemonic expansionism  

These are for what purpose if not expansionism ?
Paracel island turned into a springboard of Chinese expansionism
The above historical facts show that the purpose of China's invading the East Sea is primarily for territorial expansion; searching for energy and marine resources is secondary importance. That's why Beijing considers the East Sea  "core interests"; if just for the sake of oil and natural gas, they are not so obstinate !.They have just announced establishing  the so-called "Three Sands City" encompassing the Paracel islands, Spratly islands and even some rocks in between.  What happens when someday they would claim the vast sea region as China's "domestic sea" and block it from foreign entering ships? This must be  a potential problem for the whole world, not only Vietnam and the Philippines, because  this Sea lies on the pearling sea lanes linking East-West and South-North of the Hemisphere. But unfortunately this expansionist ambition of  the Great Ethnic Han   remains  so vague in the  world that  few people  feels worried or just ever mind about it. If anyone is more or less interested, they normally expect  the U.S. to act as the gendarme as before while China is running out of control like a crazy force. This is a paradox of our modern time. Among  many causes, there are reasons from the false, misleading, incomplete knowledge about China among people outside. The Europeans and Americans  often know about China as an age-old and ancient feudal society to explore for curiosity and mysteries. They always give this awakening raising big "tiger" understanding and tolerance rather than  necessary precautions. Even many of Asians, Africans and Latin Americans having  no common border with China do not know well about  all those effects  of Chinese expansionism and this truth  will never change.   

So, now is the high time for the world to seriously reconsider about the danger of Chinese expansionism similar the German fascism in early 21st century! The position of  today's Vietnam  is similar to that  of Austria or Poland while the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries may be like Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and so forth during the period before the outbreak of World War II.  Would  the U.S., Japan, Australia, India or others  will serve as the Soviet Union and the Allies (?) But do not wait until too late!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Introduction of international studies document

Power Shifts and Escalation: Explaining China's Use of Force in Territorial Disputes
Although China has been involved in twenty-three territorial disputes with its neighbors since 1949, it has used force in only six of them. The strength of a state's territorial claim, defined as its bargaining power in a dispute, offers one explanation for why and when states escalate territorial disputes to high levels of violence. This bargaining power depends on the amount of contested land that each side controls and on the military power that can be projected over the entire area under dispute. When a state's bargaining power declines relative to that of its adversary, its leaders become more pessimistic about achieving their territorial goals and face strong preventive motivations to seize disputed land or signal resolve through the use of force. Cross-sectional analysis and longitudinal case studies demonstrate that such negative shifts in bargaining power explain the majority of China's uses of force in its territorial disputes.
Preview of first page

Monday, July 9, 2012

Anti-Chinese protests in Vietnam as South China Sea tensions rise

More than any time before the Chinese hegimonist expensonism has been strongly denounced these days by not only the Philipino and Vietnamese but also by internatinal opinion.

The Telegragh July9,2012: The Vietnamese government has allowed a rare public demonstration to go ahead, a sign of Hanoi's increasing anger with its neighbour's aggressive stance in the South China Sea.

Protesters chant anti-China slogans while standing at a war martyrs monument during an anti-China protest in Hanoi. Photo: REUTERS
Around 200 protesters marched through the centre of Hanoi on Sunday waving banners and chanting "Paracels -Vietnam, Spratlys-Vietnam".
Although security forces blocked the demonstration when it came within 300 feet of the Chinese embassy, the fact that the protest was allowed to go ahead in authoritarian Vietnam indicates how relations between Hanoi and Beijing have deteriorated dramatically in recent weeks.
Last month, Hanoi passed legislation designating both the Paracels and Spratlys as part of Vietnam. Beijing responded by allowing the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation to call for bids to explore for oil in the disputed waters, a decision which prompted a smaller anti-China rally in Hanoi last Sunday.
China claims much of the oil and natural gas-rich South China Sea as its own, and is now involved in territorial disputes over the waters with a number of its neighbours in southeast Asia. Beijing's efforts to assert its dominance over the South China Sea is believed to be behind Washington's decision to move 60 per cent of its navy to the Asia-Pacific region by 2020.

The Bangkok Post July9,2012: Vietnamese activists hold anti-China rally

More than 200 protesters took to Hanoi's streets on Sunday in the second anti-China rally in the Vietnamese capital this month amid heightened territorial tensions over the South China Sea.
Vietnamese protesters hold up posters while shouting anti-China slogans in front of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi. Hundreds of people staged the anti-China protest, the second one in a week, after the China National Offshore Oil Corporation announced last month that nine offshore blocks were available for exploration, and said it was seeking bids from foreign companies.
Demonstrators said they were stopped by security forces about 100 metres (330 feet) away from the Chinese embassy in the city, but no arrests were made in the latest public expression of discontent over Beijing's perceived aggression in the sea.
The crowd waved banners and chanted "Paracel -- Vietnam! Spratlys -- Vietnam!" during the peaceful rally, in reference to two potentially oil-rich island chains claimed by both Beijing and Hanoi.
Last Sunday, smaller demonstrations were held in both Hanoi and the southern economic metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City as the maritime dispute once again flared following 11 street rallies on the issue last year.
Protest is rare in the authoritarian country. The first rallies last year were allowed to go ahead without interference, but authorities clamped down on later gatherings, briefly detaining dozens of people after talks between Hanoi and Beijing.
Relations between Beijing and Hanoi have soured recently, with Vietnam attracting China's ire last month after it adopted a law that places the Spratlys under Hanoi's sovereignty.
For its part China in June said it had elevated the administrative status of what it calls the Nansha (Spratly) and Xisha (Paracel) islands from a county to a prefectural-level district.
China's state-backed China National Offshore Oil Corp. also said it was seeking bids for exploration of oil blocks in disputed waters -- a move slammed by Vietnam.
Beijing says it has sovereign rights to the whole South China Sea, believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits. The sea is also claimed in whole or part by Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

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