Chinese vessels have been harassing over the past few months Vietnamese and Philippino fishing and oil exploration ships, in a deviation from the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), China claims to stick with, defense expert Wendell Minnick writes on his weblog.
“China’s claims to ‘indisputable sovereignty’ over the South China Sea [have] no basis in International law, especially the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea,” said Carl Thayer, a regional maritime specialist at the Australian Defence Force Academy. The most disturbing Chinese claim is a “nine-dash mark U-shaped map” that covers 80 percent of the South China Sea, he said.
Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie tried to calm fears over rising tensions during the 10th Shangri-La Dialogue, held here June 3-5 and sponsored by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London.
A list of the incidents:
Some 2011 South China Sea incidents:
Feb. 25: A Chinese frigate fired warning shots at three Filipino fishing boats near the Jackson atoll near Palawan Island, Philippines.
March 2: Two Chinese maritime patrol vessels threatened to ram a Philippine government energy research vessel, the M/V Venture, conducting a seismic survey in the Reed Bank area near Palawan Island.
May: China announces a unilateral fishing ban for the northern part of the South China Sea from May to August.
May: Vietnam alleges Chinese naval vessels fired on four Vietnamese fishing vessels near East London Reef and Cross Island.
May: Chinese vessels laid steel posts and a buoy in the Amy Douglas Bank, southwest of Reed Bank within the Philippines Exclusive Economic Zones.
May 11: Two unidentified fighter jets, alleged to be Chinese, were sighted near Palawan Island.
May 23: Philippine President Benigno Aquino III warned Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie during his visit to Manila of a possible arms race if tensions worsened over South China Sea disputes.
May 26: Three Chinese state-operated Ocean Marine Surveillance vessels harassed the Binh Minh 02, a vessel owned by the oil company PetroVietnam, cutting a towed survey cable. The incident occurred within Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
June 9: A Chinese fishing boat rammed a PetroVietnam vessel conducting an oil survey within Vietnam’s EEZ. It is the second Chinese attack on a Vietnamese PetroVietnam vessel in the past two weeks.
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