Thu, Aug 29, 2019 - Page 9 News List

China, Vietnam spar on high seas over US$2.5 trillion in energy

The US has accused Beijing of escalating efforts to intimidate other claimants out of developing resources in the South China Sea

By Philip Heijmans  /  Bloomberg

“This is the most tense we have seen the relationship between Vietnam and China in five years,” Poling said. “Even if things are relatively quiet, they don’t seem like they are going to stay that way.”

Beijing has repeatedly talked down the escalation, calling on Vietnam to respect China’s sovereign rights.

“China hopes to join hands with regional countries to maintain stability in this area, with a focus on the negotiation of the code of conduct,” Zhu Feng (朱鋒), executive dean of The Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies at Nanjing University, said during a telephone interview.

In an attempt to defend their maritime claims, as well as wade the growing geopolitical rift between the US and China, ASEAN in June adopted its own version of an Indo-Pacific strategy, though its own signatories admit it has serious limitations.

“Southeast Asia had best focus its attention and confine its resources to the South China Sea instead of looking farther out in pursuit of a policy that reeks of containment,” Locsin said.

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