Military Solution Unpopular in Vietnam for South China Sea Disputes


Vietnamese and Chinese leaders Nguyen Phu Trong and Xi Jinping at a tea party given by Xi in Trong’s honor. Photo: Xinhua

Vietnamese and Chinese leaders Nguyen Phu Trong and Xi Jinping at a tea party given by Xi in Trong’s honor. Photo: Xinhua

Reuters says in its report “China and Vietnam to ‘manage’ differences over South China Sea: communiqué”, “China and Vietnam pledged on Saturday to manage their differences and safeguard peace in the South China Sea, in a joint communique issued during a visit to China by Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong.”

In addition, “In the joint communique on Saturday the two sides agreed to continue to ‘fully and effectively’ implement the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea and strive for the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct (COC) on the basis of consensus in the framework of the DOC.”

The DOC already signed by China and ASEAN and the COC to be finalized and signed are aimed at peaceful solution of disputes in the South China Sea. It proves China’s success in subduing the enemy with diplomacy.

It has won over the Philippines and the victory of Nguyen Phu Trong’s détente faction in Vietnamese communist party’s election over the hardline faction that caused standoff in the South China Sea over China’s drilling rig there proves peaceful solution is much more popular even in Vietnam.

That is especially true as Vietnam talked up in public statements its traditional friendship with China in spite of the fresh memory of China’s war with Vietnam in 1979. Vietnam’s military build-up mentioned in Reuters’ report proves the memory of the war is indeed fresh in Vietnamese people’s mind. Still they prefer peace and have been won over by China’s peaceful diplomacy.

Now only the US wants to subdue others with war, but as military solution is unpopular in the world, the US has failed to get ASEAN’s support for its confrontation with China in the South China Sea.

Poor United States, it goes nowhere in the South China Sea in spite of its strongest military because it has the weakest diplomacy.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which is reblogged below:

China and Vietnam to ‘manage’ differences over South China Sea: communique

China and Vietnam pledged on Saturday to manage their differences and safeguard peace in the South China Sea, in a joint communique issued during a visit to China by Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong.

After “candid” discussions, the two countries agreed to “manage well their maritime difference, avoid actions that complicate the situation and escalate tensions, and safeguard the peace and stability of the South China Sea”, said the communique published in full by China’s state news agency Xinhua.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, where about $5 trillion worth of sea-borne trade passes every year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan, in addition to Vietnam, also have claims in the sea, believed to have rich deposits of oil and gas.

In public statements, Chinese and Vietnamese leaders regularly talk up their common interests as “traditional” friends and neighbours, but conflicting claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea have become a major source of tension in recent years.

In the joint communique on Saturday the two sides agreed to continue to “fully and effectively” implement the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea and strive for the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct (COC) on the basis of consensus in the framework of the DOC.

In September, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Vietnam’s visiting prime minister their common interests far outweighed their differences, and called for their dispute in the South China Sea to be resolved through talks.

Vietnam is in the midst of a quiet military build-up which analysts say is designed as a deterrent, to secure its 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone, as China grows more assertive in staking its claims in the South China Sea.

(Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Andrew Bolton)

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One Comment on “Military Solution Unpopular in Vietnam for South China Sea Disputes”

  1. Steve says:

    I have lost count on the past broken pledges and vows, let’s hope this one sticks.

    Like