China’s aggressive “Han chauvinism" has pushed it into territorial disputes with a series of Southeast Asian countries in the East Sea, the Vietnamese Communist Party's website announced Monday.
However, during the opening ceremony of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit on May 21, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that a rising China would seek “peaceful” means to resolve territorial disputes.
These comments came on the same day that 95 Chinese ships surrounded its illegally-positioned mobile oil drilling platform. China posted two or three large ships in every cardinal direction. These ships stood ready to spray and ram Vietnamese police ships.
Steel-hulled Chinese fishing boats have also been dispersed to threaten, block, ram and forced Vietnamese fishing boats out of the area.
In this treacherous climate, Jinping has also warned China's neighbors against building what he sees as unhelpful military alliances in the region: “It is disadvantageous to the common security of the region if military alliances with third parties are strengthened.”
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials habitually blame the US for encouraging countries who dispute China's claims in the East Sea to take these “dangerous” actions, worsening tensions in the region.
Indeed, the United States has charged that China's actions have proven more "provocative" than peaceful.
Not surprisingly, during a recent regular press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “The US's mistaken comments have encouraged dangerous and provocative actions.”
In reality, China is the country engaged in the unilateral military occupation of the East Sea.
Its ships have trained their high-pressure water hoses on critical features of the Vietnamese vessels such as their exhaust pipes, antennae, radars, windows, etc.
Their clear intention is to destroy their communication devices and halt their legal operations in Vietnamese waters.Perhaps most savage of all, Chinese ships have also targeted and destroyed the life buoys equipped on Vietnamese ships.
While China perpetrates this violence it has accused Vietnam of deliberately smashing its ships at sea. It is “carrying fire on one hand and water in the other.”
China, through all of this, continues to try to reinforce its image as victim--according to Jonathan London, a Vietnam expert at Hong Kong City University writing in the South China Morning Post.
Dr Oh Ei Sun, a senior research specialist at the Institute for International Studies at the S. Rajaratnam in Singapore, said: "China's attitude is causing confusion. Beijing says it wants to maintain a good relationship with its neighbors, but they are also increasingly trying to act more aggressively."
"The countries of Southeast Asia are seeing that China is escalating the dispute, instead of calming the matter down."
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has repeatedly called China out on its ploy while clarifying Vietnam’s response.
During a press conference on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA) in Manila, the Philippines on May 21-22, he spoke with AP and Reuters about the issue.
“Vietnam has pursued every opportunity and diplomatic channel to settle the situation in a peaceful manner,” he said.
“We have always shown our heart-felt goodwill and exercised the utmost restraint, but China’s response has grown increasingly threatening. It's violations [of international law] continue and it has chosen to slander and blame Vietnam."
“There is a vast gap between the words and deeds of China,” he said, adding that China’s actions in Vietnamese waters in recent days have proven extremely dangerous and seriously threaten the peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
It can be said that China’s actions in the East Sea have grown increasingly provocative while “crying” to create an image of itself as a victim. This is the nature of current Chinese regime.
More than anyone else, the Vietnamese people understands the real thinking of this neighbor. “Diamond cuts diamond”, Vietnamese people are never afraid. They protect every inch of their nation's sea with their collective solidarity, force and mind.
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