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US scholar: China violates Vietnam's waters

Update: May, 09/2014 - 09:00
Andrew Billo, a fellow associate of the New York-based Asia Society. — VNA/VNS Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — China's placement of a drilling rig in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf seriously violated the country's sovereignty as defined in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Commenting China's act, Andrew Billo, a fellow associate of the New York-based Asia Society, affirmed this is clearly a failure on the part of China to live up to its responsibilities to act in accordance with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) to which it is a signatory during an interview with a Vietnam News Agency correspondent on May 7.

China, like Vietnam, is also a party to the UNCLOS and therefore needs to respect Vietnam's established legal right to these waters, he said.

According to the scholar, in recent years, China has demanded that its neighbours pay greater respect and deference to its claims to the East Sea area. This action is a result of the fact that it is increasingly finding itself without support from the international community over its actions.

He called on the US to continue to denounce China's actions, while simultaneously looking at other pathways for bringing the concerned parties to negotiating terms by which the dispute can be better managed.

China continues to act in a way that shows neglect for the legitimate and legally recognised territorial sovereignty of its neighbours. As a result, the country is only driving a greater wedge between itself, ASEAN, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

It is a dangerous situation because China is failing to adhere to international law and serious questions remain about how far China will be willing to go in further asserting its claims within the region, he said. — VNA/VNS

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