30 May 2014
THE sinking on Monday of a Vietnamese fishing boat in disputed waters is a consequence of the dangerous game of cat-and-mouse between fishing vessels from China and Vietnam.
Both sides must bear responsibility for the incident and use this opportunity to back away from further provocations in the contested waters.
Chinese and Vietnamese vessels first clashed on May 7 following a Vietnamese attempt to stop China from installing a deepwater drilling rig near the Paracel islands (Xisha in Chinese). The islands are claimed by both Beijing and Hanoi.
According to news reports, there were at one point more than 60 Vietnamese vessels of various types and around the same number of Chinese vessels at the scene.
… As maritime security expert Sam Bateman points out in a commentary for the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Vietnam appears to be winning the public relations battle “with much global commentary supporting its claim that the rig is illegal and painting the situation as yet another example of China’s assertiveness”.
He adds that a closer look at the situation suggests that China could be well within its rights in planting the rig in waters near the Paracels.
IDSS / RSIS / Print
Last updated on