US think tank calls for naval observers in East Sea

By Kap Thanh Long, Thanh Nien News

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US think tank calls for naval observers in East Sea
The Boston Global Forum, a non-profit forum for international scholars, has urged the United States and the European Union to deploy naval ships to observe China's activities in Vietnamese waters.
On May 27, the non-profit think tank announced a new initiative to take swift action to ensure peace in the East Sea, internationally known as South China Sea.
The Initiative’s mission is to alleviate the threat of war in the region by facilitating open dialogue amongst involved nations, the BGF said in a release.
Under the Initiative, the fund will hold an international conference with leaders from the United States, Asia, and the United Nations. Distinguished Professors, Michael Dukakis and Joseph Nye, will moderate the discussion.
The BGF has called on US Secretary of State John Kerry to host the event, which will either take place on July 2, in Boston, Massachusetts or held remotely. 
The conference will be live-streamed so that people around the world can join the conversation through social media and the BGF website.
The BGF Initiative also “seeks an immediate international response to the escalating crises in Asia and urges the United States and the European Union to deploy naval ships to the region as observers, particularly toward the China’s Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig, which has ventured into Vietnamese waters, and risks sparking a war between China and Vietnam,” the release said.
In early May China illegally dispatched the US$1-billion drilling rig, as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft, into Vietnam's territorial waters.
Chinese ships have repeatedly rammed and fired water cannons at Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships tasked with protecting the country's maritime borders as well as Vietnamese fishing boats operating in the Vietnamese waters.
The assaults have damaged Vietnamese police vessels and civilian fishing boats and injured their crews.

In the latest incident, at around 4 pm on Monday, a Chinese ship rammed a fishing boat piloted by captain Dang Van Nhan, 40, of the central city of Da Nang.
Ten Vietnamese fishermen were onboard the boat, which a group of 40 Chinese fishing vessels encircled and then sank.
At the time of the assault, Capt. Nhan and his crew had anchored in their customary spot some 17 nautical miles from China’s illegally positioned Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig.

After the boat sank, a nearby Vietnamese fishing boat managed to rescue the crew. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned a representative from the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi on Tuesday to protest the attacks on Vietnamese fishermen operating in Vietnam's territorial waters.

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