SINO-VIETNAMESE RELATIONS AND THE SOUTH CHINA SEA ISSUE





Diplomacy Through All Means AvailableOne of the controversial issues concerning the countries of the Asia Pacific region is the debate of sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea. This dispute on the ownership of several islands in the region directly concerns China, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. The dispute is in one aspect basically one that stems from individual claims that overlap with the Economic Exclusive Zones of the others. There are oil and gas resources at stake to whoever is able to claim it. International law is not able to resolve the discord by itself as state sovereignty and historical claims are invoked to either disregard it or to demonstrate an exception to the rule. The debate, on the whole, is far too complicated to be elaborated in a short article. However, in order to indicate the elements of this equation so as to better understand the various interests of the parties to the conflict and the strategies they contemporarily take, two countries shall be taken under the scope: China and Vietnam. The scope will be limited further specifically in order to emphasize a certain aspect of this dispute; the focus of the analysis shall shift to the point of view of Vietnam so as to better elaborate how the less powerful claimants react to what they perceive as Chinese aggressive expansion.By Umut CivanerYou can read the rest of the article on our issue of September