New Neighborship Will Drive US Hegemony Away from Asia

In my preceding post, we say that Russia and EU may drive US hegemony away from Europe if they switch from the traditional neighborship of fighting for land or control to the new neighborship characterized by economic complement, the facilitating of connection and mutual military protection. However, the traditional neighborship is well established between Russia and EU due to Tsar’s expansion and Soviet Union’s export of its communist system so that it is very difficult for the two sides to build trust.

It is, however, easier for China to develop the new neighborship in Asia to drive US hegemony away from Asia. China can do so as there have already been quite good mechanisms facilitating such neighborship.

In Southeast Asia, there are ASEAN with very successful free trade area with China and negotiations have been carrying out for expansion of the free trade area to South Korea and Japan. Anyway, China has already quite successful free trade area with South Korea whether the negotiation succeed or fail. China’s neighborship is perfect in China’s interests. China’s influence in North Korea makes South Korea and Japan hope that China will use its influence to cause North Korea to give up nuclear weapons.

In North and Central Asia, there is Russia- and China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization with the potential of military alliance. In the Middle East Iran has joined Russia and China to form an iron triangle to counter the US. In South Asia, China has Pakistan as its iron brother and a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh for development of China-Bangladesh Economic Corridor. It has been building the ports of Kyaukpyo, Hambantota and Gwadar that are regarded as China’s pearl-shaped encirclement of India in the Indian Ocean. All the above mechanisms, organizations and relationship constitute or are the basis of new neighborship characterized by economic complement, the facilitating of connections or mutual military protection.

The establishment of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership at the end of last year may enable Asia to set up an Asian Union similar to EU. For integration of Asia to remove US hegemony, China only need to develop new neighborship with India, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Both Vietnam and the Philippines have maritime border disputes with China in the South China Sea, but they are both ASEAN members and may be influenced by ASEAN. Vietnam may, in addition, be affected by Russia so that it will not be too fierce in confronting with China.

Philippines, a US ally, but in spite of the alliance, it has been seeking better relations with China as it was greatly disappointed that the US failed to send its navy to help it in its Scarborough Standoff with China. If the US does not plan to send its navy to help it in its disputes with China, the Philippines will not dare to counter China seriously.

India is now easing its border tensions with China and Pakistan while joining Quad halfheartedly. That proves development of new neighborship is possible. Pakistan will give India a short access to the oil and gas in the Middle East while China may cooperate with India in India’s development of industry and water conservancy projects.

Japan is most difficult due to its invasion of China that inflicted great misery to Chinese people. According to traditional neighborship, China will certainly retaliate. However, China has to follow the new world trend and refrain from retaliation. If China is able to remove Japan’s fear of retaliation, it may develop new neighborship with Japan as Japan has great interest in Chinese market. When China has developed the new friendly neighborship with all Asian countries including US allies Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, no Asian country needs US military protection. By that time there will be no US hegemony in Asia.

Article by Chan Kai Yee

China and Russia Dreams Supplement Each Other

Both Chinese and Russian leaders see that in spite of all the differences and historical enmity that may give rise to clash of civilizations, the two countries have similar dreams for the recovery of their past glory that are supplementing instead of conflicting each other.

Russia Dream

Russia wants its recovery as a European power as it always was in the past. That is not so unrealistic as the recovery of the Soviet Union’s status as a superpower. However, the Soviet Union, though a world superpower, had dominance mainly in developed Europe instead of Asia. In spite of Tzars’ expansion to the east and Soviet attempt to develop Russia’s vast Asian part, Russia’s Far East remains underdeveloped and Russian people are not interested in moving to the east to develop eastern Russia.

Chinese people, however, are interested in Russia’s East. That is quite natural taking into account of China’s huge population. Lots of Chinese immigrants in Russia’s east have given rise to the fear of China’s colonization of Russia’s Far East. To avoid that, Russia sets the precondition that in order to settle down in Russia a Chinese shall marry a Russian and then be naturalized. China has no objection. It explains to Russia that colonization has proved a failure. China has its own way. Lots of Chinese have moved to Southeast Asia and other parts of the world without colonizing the areas they moved into. They have merged into local communities and helped develop local economy though kept some Chinese customs. They have never tried to dominate the politics there though they may have controlled the economy there. Chinese people’s immigration is a win-win way to cooperate with local people in developing their economy.

China is happy that Russia can provide space for China’s surplus population while Russia is happy to absorb redundant Chinese people to prevent shrinking of its population and develop its underdeveloped areas its own people are unwilling to go to develop.

China Dream

China dream for great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation aims at growing strong to be able to resist foreign bullies. In Chinese history, China usually has no desire of expansion; therefore, China’s rise constitutes no threat to Russia. On the contrary, China will provide a huge market for Russia’s energy and other natural resources.

As mentioned in my previous posts, Central Asia may be an area of conflicts between China and Russia, but it is not. China has made clear it only wants to joint force with Central Asian countries in developing their infrastructures for connection to Europe and the Middle East through them and obtaining oil, gas and other natural resources from them. China seeks economical benefit and utterly has no intention to interfere with the politics there. Russia will thus be able to work for the recovery of political control of those former members of the Soviet Union without Chinese interference. It, however, has been benefited by China’s economic development there.

So are China’s ties with India and Vietnam. They are economic instead of political. India’s border and Vietnam’s South China Sea disputes with China also prove that.

China’s sincerity has to some extent won Russia’s trust. It has not taken advantage of Russia’s predicament caused by Western sanctions to ask for unreasonable terms in its transactions with Russia. Now the two countries have not only overcome their difficulties in concluding gas deal but have set up joint ventures to develop large airliners and helicopters.

However, the alliance between China and Russia is indeed an alliance of necessity under US threat. Will the alliance break when the threat has been removed?

Article by Chan Kai Yee

Why the US’ tough South China Sea rhetoric is not very smart

It was never realistic to think Southeast Asian claimants would hop on the China-bashing bandwagon. With a more aggressive military presence, the US could force nations to choose between it and China, but Washington might not like the outcome

Mark J. Valencia

Published: 3:30am, 14 Aug, 2020

Last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a position on the South China Sea, declaring in a statement: “The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire. America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources…”

He then mounted a diplomatic full-court press to round up Southeast Asian countries for the US’ campaign against China’s actions in the South China Sea.

He vowed the US would “support countries … who recognise that China has violated their legal territorial claims”, adding: “We will go provide them the assistance we can, whether that’s in multilateral bodies, whether that’s in Asean, whether that’s through legal responses, we will use all the tools we can.” Presumably, that would include military “tools” if necessary.

But the reaction of many Southeast Asian countries was cautious. Indeed, this policy initiative seems likely to fail. Why?

China hits back at US after Pompeo says most of Beijing’s claims in South China Sea are illegal

Mainly, these states are concerned that, as in the Cold War, they will become pawns and suffer accordingly. It did not help when, days later, Pompeo crossed the political Rubicon by directly attacking the Chinese Communist Party.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper poured petrol on the fire by declaring: “Goodwill and best wishes do not secure freedom. Strength does.”

This ramped-up rhetoric was preceded by a show of force involving two US Navy aircraft carriers. Yet, Pompeo did not get the response from Southeast Asia he might have hoped for.

As William Choong of Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute noted, a challenge to China on values was “not going to take off” in Southeast Asia. “We are not going to see the same kind of pushback that the US expects to see in Asean,” he said. “This whole confronting China and kicking down the front door, I don’t think that’s an Asean way.”

That’s not the only problem. Some worry that Pompeo’s tough talk is just a ploy to help President Donald Trump’s re-election. Others see the US presence in the region as a double-edged sword, which could deter or escalate tensions with China.

In the analysis of Shahriman Lockman at Malaysia’s Institute of Strategic and International Studies: “The worst-case scenario is for things to escalate, and then the US gets distracted … and we get saddled with more Chinese ships in our waters.”

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations like Indonesia and Singapore have remained neutral. Indonesia described any country’s support for Indonesian rights in the Natuna Sea as “normal”.

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein called on countries to “avoid military posturing”. He added that Malaysia should not be “dragged and trapped” in a tug of war between superpowers.

The Philippines did not join a recent US-led naval exercise in the South China Sea, with Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jnr saying: “We’re sitting out this one.”

Washington’s hardened position on Beijing’s claims in South China Sea heightens US-China tensions

There are good reasons that a US-instigated anti-China front is unlikely to materialise in Asean. These nations each have their own economic and geopolitical reasons for not wanting to be out of favour with China.

Indeed, it was never realistic to think Southeast Asian claimants to the South China Sea would jump on the China-bashing bandwagon – especially if it involves military intervention.

With the exception of Vietnam – and even its support remains in question – it is doubtful that Southeast Asia will welcome any attempt to back up a threat of the use of force with specifics.

Yet, there are those who say the Trump administration made a “smart” move, in clarifying its position on the South China Sea. Maybe they think China’s rival claimants can be persuaded by US rhetoric and convinced that the US has interests beyond freedom of navigation (or freedom to engage in intelligence probes into China).

Perhaps they are counting on anti-China (or anti-Chinese) sentiment in some countries in the region. They might even be hoping that some will follow the US’ example if it uses military force. If so, this is dangerous wishful thinking.

If the US fails to deter China, it might have to choose between a credibility loss and a “kinetic” conflict. This is the very dilemma it had avoided by being ambiguous. But now the cat is out of the bag. The US must either back up its bold words, or lose more credibility with regard to its staying power and its commitment to friends, allies and the region.

Worse is the possibility of unilateral provocative actions by those like Vietnam, which may feel emboldened by the idea that the US will support China’s rival claimants. That clarification was not a smart move.

The US has been rapidly losing soft power in Southeast Asia since the Trump administration withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump’s “America first” mantra has made Asean nations feel like they are on their own. With a more aggressive diplomatic and military presence, the US could force nations in the region to choose between it and China, but the US might not like the outcome.

An appeal to Southeast Asia to join in the US’ ideological struggle against China is not sufficient. The only way to rebuild the integrity of its relationships is to respect the region’s self-defined interests as much as its own. Otherwise, this US policy initiative, like others before it, is likely to fail.

Mark J. Valencia is an adjunct senior scholar at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, Haikou, China

Dr Mark J. Valencia is an internationally known maritime policy analyst, political commentator and consultant focused on Asia. He is the author or editor of some 15 books and more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles. Currently he is adjunct senior scholar at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies.

Source: SCMP “hy the US’ tough South China Sea rhetoric is not very smart”

Note: This is SCMP’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

Tensions due to China’s Fishing Ban under Control unless US Interferes

SCMP says in its report “Beijing’s South China Sea fishing ban threatens to raise tensions with rival claimants”, “Fishing groups in Vietnam and the Philippines have urged their governments to take firm measures to resist ban, which is intended to preserve fish stocks”.

Vietnamese government has said something but not the Philippines.

In fact even during the Scarborough standoff, the Philippines has to observe the ban, though China disallowed it to fish in the area around the reef.

Fishing conflicts between China and Vietnam have been common. A Vietnamese fishing boat was sunk by Chinese coast guard ship even recently.

Such tension for resources are normal and will not be a big issue unless the US interferes with its navy.

In the past, Japan planned to use its navy to drive Chinese fishing boats away from the area around the disputed Diaoyu Islands, China showed that it was to respond with war. The then US Vice President Joe Biden had to visit China to prevent the naval war as the US would not support Japan’s move. Biden said that the US would not fight for a few rocks. After that, China sent fishing fleet larger than the past to the area and Japan did not drive Chinese fleet away.

China banned Philippine fishing in the area around Scarborough Reef after Scarborough standoff, but the US did not interfere though the Philippines is its ally. The ban was not lifted until the Philippines had improved its relations with China.

There may be tension or even war if the US interferes as China vows to defend its core interests in the South China Sea.

The ball is on US side.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which may be viewed at

Beijing marks out claims in South China Sea by naming geographical features

China says it is asserting its sovereignty in the disputed waters in the face of Vietnam’s ‘aggression’

Latest move follows establishment of new administrative structures for Paracel and Spratly islands

Kristin Huang

Published: 6:30pm, 20 Apr, 2020

Updated: 12:08am, 21 Apr, 2020

China has given names to 80 geographical features in the disputed South China Sea in the latest move to assert its territorial claims in the face of increasing opposition from Vietnam.

According to a notice jointly released by China’s Natural Resources Ministry and Civil Affairs Ministry, it has given names to features in the Paracel and Spratly islands. These include 25 islands, shoals and reefs and 55 oceanic mountains and ridges.

The last such exercise was carried out in 1983, when China named 287 features in the area, where multiple nations have competing territorial claims.

Yan Yan, director of the Research Centre of Oceans Law and Policy in the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said China had acted to assert its sovereignty and sovereign rights after Vietnam raised the stakes in their dispute.

Last month, Vietnam sent a diplomatic note to the United Nations to protest against China’s sovereignty claims over the South China Sea.

To reiterate its sovereignty claims over the South China Sea, China coined names for 80 more features after the 1983 exercise,” Yan said.

China is faced with an increasingly aggressive Vietnam as the country continues to fish illegally and conduct oil and gas exploration unilaterally in the South China Sea. And as this year’s chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Vietnam should exercise more restraint rather than acting aggressively.”

The statement came a day after China said it had set up two administrative districts – which it named Xisha and Nansha – to govern the Paracel and Spratly islands.

China also dispatched a scientific survey vessel, the Haiyang Dizhi 8, to sail into waters also claimed by Vietnam and Malaysia. The Haiyang Dizhi 8 has been accused of tagging an exploration vessel operated by Malaysia’s state oil company, but a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman insisted the Chinese ship was conducting normal activities.

China claims almost the whole South China Sea, but these claims are not recognised by its neighbours or most other countries.

It has adopted salami-slicing tactics to boost its claims, gradually building artificial islands and facilities that could be used for military purposes over the past six years despite repeated protests from the international community.

China’s latest actions in the South China Sea come amid renewed tensions with the United States and Vietnam.

This month Vietnam lodged an official protest with the Chinese government after a fishing boat was sunk following a collision with a Chinese coastguard vessel near the islands.

China said the Vietnamese boat had been fishing illegally and sunk after ramming the Chinese vessel.

The incident provoked an angry reaction from Washington, which accused China of exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic to act when other countries were preoccupied with the crisis.

Collin Koh, a research fellow from the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, said China’s latest moves would only deepen the lack of trust among Asean countries, which are currently negotiating a code of conduct for the area with China.

I think such moves are going to be counterproductive and backfire on Beijing,” said Koh. He said that its actions would increase international attention on the matter, something China had hoped to avoid.

Source: SCMP “Beijing marks out claims in South China Sea by naming geographical features”

Note: This is SCMP’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

US Helpless as China Has Turned South China Sea into Its Lake

South China Morning Post’s article “Has the US already lost the battle for the South China Sea?” yesterday asked the stupid question whether the US has already lost the battle for the South China Sea.

It’s stupid as there has not been and will not be any battle there as by deployment of J-20s to control the air and construction of artificial islands the US is simply unable to fight a battle in the South China Sea.

Subdue the enemy without fighting is the best of best

                                                              –Sun Tze

The SCMP article says that some military experts and analysts believe China’s artificial islands may be destroyed by missiles but so are US military bases in Asia and the Guam.

If there were such a missile battle, it would be a battle in East Asia instead of a small battle in the South China Sea. In such a war, the US cannot be sure of the support from its allies Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines but China can be very sure of the support from its de facto ally Russia.

In fact, the US has lost dominance of not only the South China Sea but East Asia.

Comment on SCMP’s article, full text of which can be viewed at

Beijing Preps 10-Story Oil Drilling Platform for South China Sea despite Wary Vietnam

By Ralph Jennings

September 30, 2019 05:46 AM

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – China has developed a giant new offshore oil exploration platform for possible use in disputed tracts of sea, a move that would anger Vietnam and extend years of energy-related disputes between the two Asian neighbors.

The platform dubbed Haiyang Shiyou 982 sits over the sea now, ready to seek oil deposits up to 9,000 meters deep, a Chinese social media account run by the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission reported Wednesday.

Boats from Vietnam and China rammed one another in 2014 after China allowed an offshore oil firm to position the platform’s predecessor, Haiyang Shiyou 981, in disputed waters. Earlier this year, Vietnam asked a Chinese survey vessel to leave Vanguard Bank, a maritime feature where the Southeast Asian country is looking for fuel under the seabed.

Expect more resistance if Haiyang Shiyou 982 ruffles Vietnam, analysts warn.

They will have some kind of reaction for sure, because the South China Sea is by no means cool in terms of temperature,” said Alan Chong, associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “It can flare up at any moment.”


The worst case could reignite a sometimes violent two-way spat over maritime sovereignty that goes back to the 1970s.

Haiyang Shiyou 982

Chinese-language media reports said in early 2018 the sixth-generation drilling platform had been “delivered” in the northeastern port city Dalian. The platform should improve the equipment for China’s offshore drilling work, those reports said.

The commission said media had been invited to observe operations aboard the 10-story-high platform. It did not say where at sea the platform was deployed but said the site was about a one-hour helicopter ride from Sanya in southern China. Sea tracts along the mainland Chinese shoreline are not contested.

Brunei, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines claim all or parts of the 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea. China, which calls about 90% of the waterway its own, has taken a military and technological lead over the past decade. Other countries, for example, often contract for oil exploration while China relies heavily on its own rigs.

The U.S. Energy Information Agency estimates 11 billion barrels’ worth of oil under the South China Sea along with 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Vietnam vs. China

The 981 rig’s 2014 deployment also set off deadly anti-China rioting in Vietnam. The Vanguard Bank flap this year led to a standoff after the Chinese energy survey ship, the Haiyang Dizhi 8, began patrolling waters near Vanguard Bank 352 kilometers off the coast of southeastern Vietnam. Vietnam operates an undersea energy exploration platform nearby.

Vietnam sometimes works with foreign companies, such as the Spanish firm Repsol and ONGC Videsh of India, on exploration contracts. Beijing resents foreign influence in the South China Sea and pressures Vietnam to stop some of the joint projects.

I think (the new platform) is probably not to consolidate the Chinese sovereignty, but it’s to undermine the effort or the attempt of Vietnam to pursue joint exploration with other countries,” said Yun Sun, East Asia Program senior associate at the Stimson Center think tank in Washington.


Strategic gain for China

China’s new platform strengthens its control over the disputed sea and could be even read as a “second front” of resistance against the United States, Chong said. The U.S. government does not claim the South China Sea but advocates keeping it open internationally. The U.S. Navy regularly sends ships into the sea and China criticizes the passages as foreign interference.

If questioned by other governments about the new oil platform, Chong said, China could say the platform is purely aimed at drilling for oil.

The platform could also send a signal to the Philippines, among others, about China’s willingness to explore jointly for oil or gas in the disputed sea, said Herman Kraft, political science professor at the University of the Philippines.

Manila and Beijing said earlier this year they would explore together and let the Philippines take 60% of any discoveries. That deal extends Beijing’s effort to get along with the other South China Sea claimants and limit U.S. influence in the region, Asian maritime scholars have said.

China hopes to start the project with Manila while Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is in office through 2022, Kraft said. Duterte began pursuing friendship with China in 2016, a departure from his predecessor.

At this point, this is really more of China trying to make sure that they’re going to being able to take advantage of Duterte’s still being in power and being able to move forward that memorandum of understanding into something that’s actually more operational,” he said.

Source: “Beijing Preps 10-Story Oil Drilling Platform for South China Sea despite Wary Vietnam”

Note: This is’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

Chinese ship inches closer to Vietnam coastline amid South China Sea tensions

Khanh Vu August 24, 2019 / 1:42 PM / Updated 3 hours ago

HANOI (Reuters) – A Chinese survey vessel on Saturday extended its activities to an area closer to Vietnam’s coastline, ship tracking data showed, after the United States and Australia expressed concern about China’s actions in the disputed waterways.

The Haiyang Dizhi 8 vessel first entered Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) early last month where it began a weeks-long seismic survey, triggering a tense standoff between military and coastguard vessels from Vietnam and China.

The Chinese vessel continued to survey Vietnam’s EEZ on Saturday under escort from at least four ships and was around 102 kilometers (63 miles) southeast of Vietnam’s Phu Quy island and 185 kilometers (115 miles) from the beaches of the southern city of Phan Thiet, according to data from Marine Traffic, a website that tracks vessel movements.

The Chinese vessel group was followed by at least two Vietnamese naval vessels, according to the data.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

A country’s EEZ typically extends up to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers or 230 miles) from its coastline, according to an international UN treaty. That country has sovereign rights to exploit any natural resources within that area, according to the agreement.

Vietnam and China have for years been embroiled in a dispute over the potentially energy-rich stretch of waters and a busy shipping lane in the South China Sea.

China’s unilaterally declared “nine-dash line” marks a vast, U-shaped, expanse of the South China Sea that it claims, including large swathes of Vietnam’s continental shelf where it has awarded oil concessions.

On Friday, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Australian counterpart expressed their concern about China’s activities in the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea.

Earlier in the week, the United States said it was deeply concerned about China’s interference in oil and gas activities in waters claimed by Vietnam, and that the deployment of the vessels was “an escalation by Beijing in its efforts to intimidate other claimants out of developing resources in the South China Sea”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, in response to the U.S. statement, said Washington was “sowing division and had ulterior motives”.

The aim is to bring chaos to the situation in the South China Sea and damage regional peace and stability. China is resolutely opposed to this,” Geng told a daily news briefing on Friday.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by James Pearson; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

Source: Reuters “Chinese ship inches closer to Vietnam coastline amid South China Sea tensions”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

Failure of Pompeo’s Intervention with South China Sea Disputes

China’s survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 conducted geological survey in July in the disputed waters in the South China Sea that claimed by both China and Vietnam. Vietnam protested but China simply ignored that. I described it in my post “ Vietnam Merely Watched China’s Survey in Disputed Waters” on July 15.

On August 1, Reuters says in its report “Pompeo blasts Chinese ‘coercion’ in South China Sea”, “U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday criticized Chinese ‘coercion’ in the disputed South China Sea, highlighting a divide with Beijing at a meeting of Southeast Asian nations with world powers. “

China’s survey ship left the disputed area on August 7 and gave the impresion that Pompeo’s intervention worked.

However, Reuters says in its report “Vietnam demands Chinese ship leaves its exclusive economic zone” on August 16 that the survey ship has returned to the disputed area.

Pompeo’s intervention has simply been ignored.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters reports full text of which can be viewed at and

China Keeps on Survey in South China Sea Despite Vietnam, US Protests

SCMP says in its report “Vietnam renews demand for ‘immediate withdrawal’ of Chinese ship in disputed South China Sea” on July 25, 2019 that Vietnam demanded again immediate withdrawal of Chinese survey ship in disputed area in the South China Sea.

Marine Geology 8 SCMP photo.

I said in my post “Vietnam Merely Watched China’s Survey in Disputed Waters” on July 13 that Vietnam merely protested without taking any action to drive away Chinese geological survey ship Marine Geology 8. Chinese ship simply remains there and ignores Vietnamese protest.

Why has Vietnam not driven away or even rounded up Chinese ship and boats like what the Philippines did in Scarborough Standoff. It knows that it may suffer like the Philippines in being banned of fishing in the disputed area.

For Vietnam, it may suffer much greater losses as it has been exploiting oil in disputed areas but China has not driven it away. If it takes any action similar to the Philippines’, China may dispel all the oil rigs there.

The US protested and accused China of bully but dare not take any action. Anyway, Vietnam may be happy for the oral suppor since the US is not Vietnam’s ally. However, Vietnam knows very clear that the US will not help it in a military conflict between it and China.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s article, full text of which can be viewed at