Left Menu
Development News Edition

As tensions rise in SCS, US signs MoU to support Vietnamese fishermen against Chinese 'intimidation'

As tensions flare-up in the South China Sea (SCS), which has been boiling for some time now, the prime contestants seem to be Vietnam and China.

ANI | Hanoi | Updated: 30-07-2020 15:56 IST | Created: 30-07-2020 09:31 IST
As tensions rise in SCS, US signs MoU to support Vietnamese fishermen against Chinese 'intimidation'
Representative image . Image Credit: ANI

As tensions flare-up in the South China Sea (SCS), which has been boiling for some time now, the prime contestants seem to be Vietnam and China. Both countries have been locked again in a stand-off, contesting each other's claims of maritime rights and seabed exploration endeavours.

China has taken a series of provocative actions in the waters since the start of this year as the world is busy battling with the Covid-19 pandemic caused by coronavirus that originated in Wuhan city of China. The renewed tensions repeat a familiar pattern the world has witnessed repeatedly regarding Chinese conduct in the South China Sea disputes.

It enhances the fragility of the situation between the claimant states in this strategic expanse of sea waters. The Maritime Safety Administration of China's Hainan Province had held military exercises near Vietnam's Paracel Islands on July 1-5.

China's actions triggered a huge backlash in Vietnam and sent a diplomatic note to protest the illegal exercises, urging non-repetition of the incident. Foreign Ministry said the exercises violated Vietnam's sovereignty, complicating negotiations for a Code of Conduct of Parties (COC) in the SCS between China and ASEAN, and affecting peace in the region. The country has multiple times condemned China's illegal actions in the waters, claiming full legal basis and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel Islands under international law. All activities conducted by any party near either island without prior consent from Vietnam hold no value it has stressed.

The U.S. Defense Department has criticized China's military exercises in the South China Sea, calling it a violation of China's commitments in maintaining stability in the region. The Pentagon said the military exercises were the latest in a long string of China's actions "to assert unlawful maritime claims and disadvantage its Southeast Asian neighbours in the SCS." It urged China to reduce its militarization and coercion of its neighbours in the waters.

In June, a Chinese Coast Guard patrol vessel and a speedboat chased, rammed and damaged the Vietnamese fishing boat near Lincoln Island in Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago. On April 2, another Chinese Coast Guard vessel had rammed and sunk a fishing boat while it was fishing off Woody (Phu Lam) Island in the Paracels.

Vietnam condemned the act, and the US and the Philippines joined in the criticism. The Vietnamese fisheries society said that "Such actions by China have occurred many times and are increasing relentlessly, causing insecurity and discontent among Vietnam's fishermen, reducing Vietnam's fishing production, causing serious economic losses to fishermen, infringing on Vietnam's sovereignty and violating Vietnamese and international laws". It called on authorities to strongly condemn and immediately stop China from obstructing and ramming Vietnamese fishing boats in Vietnam's sovereign waters, and take resolute measures against China's unreasonable actions.

US signed an MOU to support Vietnamese fishermen against Chinese intimidation The US and Vietnam have signed a memorandum of understanding, which includes support against illegal "intimidation" of the latter's fishermen at sea.

The MOU, which aims to strengthen Vietnam's fisheries management and law enforcement capabilities. "We look forward to working together with Vietnam to strengthen the sustainability of its fisheries and support its fishers against illegal intimidation," said the US Ambassador to Vietnam, Dan Kritenbrink, at the signing ceremony in Hanoi.

The MOU came a week after the US released statements affirming its stance in supporting Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam in disputes with China at sea. "Beijing uses intimidation to undermine the sovereign rights of Southeast Asian coastal states in the South China Sea, bully them out of offshore resources, assert unilateral dominion, and replace international law with 'might makes right'," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The US rejected China's claims to most of the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea, including waters surrounding Vietnam's Vanguard Bank, Luconia Shoals off Malaysia, waters in Brunei's EEZ, and Natuna Besar off Indonesia. It dismissed China's action to harass other states' fishing or hydrocarbon development in these waters as unlawful. China seized the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam by force in 1974 and has since been illegally occupying them. In 2012, it built the so-called "Sansha City" with Woody Island as its seat, and has since built a runway capable of handling military aircraft and other supporting structures.

The so-called city also extends to a number of reefs in Vietnam's Spratly (Truong Sa) Islands that China seized by force in 1988 as well as the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by the Philippines. (ANI)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Videos

Latest News

Two railway employees accused of rape on station premises

A 22-year-old woman hailing from Uttar Pradesh was on Saturday allegedly raped by two railway employees at the Bhopal main station here, the police said. We have arrested prime accused Rajesh Tiwari age around 45, security counselor and i...

Thousands flout COVID-19 curbs for anti-lockdown London rally

Protesters clashed with police as officers tried to disperse crowds for failing to socially distance during an anti-lockdown rally in London on Saturday. The Metropolitan Police said 16 people were arrested and nine of its officers were inj...

Iran and Iraq commit to boosting border cooperation and trade

Iran and Iraq on Saturday pledged to improve border cooperation and boost trade between the two neighbours that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. We remain committed to increasing political, economic and cultural cooperation b...

Protesters scuffle with police at London anti-lockdown demo

Protesters at a central London anti-lockdown rally scuffled with police officers on Saturday who was trying to break up the demonstration because of a lack of social distancing.Police said nine officers had been injured and 16 people arrest...

Give Feedback