International Conference on the South China Sea: Vietnam should consider legal procedures to institute a lawsuit against China

01/08/2014


China’s Haiyang 981 oil rig became a hot topic during an international conference held in Ho Chi Minh city on Saturday July 26 despite the fact that drilling platform was moved out of the Southeast Asian country’s waters earlier this month.
Since 02 May 2014, China had placed the Oil Rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. Yet this Oil Rig was withdrawn from Vietnam’s waters, this incident has caused unexpected consequences for political, economic, commercial relations between Vietnam and China in particular, and peace, maritime and aviation security and safety, and international trade in general.
More than 30 foreign scholars and experts came from the US, Russia, Italia, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, India, the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia… partook in the “Legal issues regarding the incident of China’s placement of oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf”
During their three-day event, the experts are to focus on analysing China’s actions from the viewpoint of international law, while discussing the settlement of territorial disputes through political and diplomatic measures regulated in international law.
The scholars collectively have agreed that an environment of peace and stability in the East Sea would bring about enormous benefits in promoting political, economic, commercial, maritime, and aviation relations among countries in the South East Asia, Asian Pacific areas and worldwide.
Most of the attendees said that China did not respect international law through its oil rig deployment and Vietnam should continue its legal fight against its big neighbor in order to assert the country’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos. Many expressed concerns that China could deploy other oil rigs to the waters again and advised the Southeast Asian country to prepare for all possible legal actions.
Professor Alexander Yankov, member of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), said Vietnam should take legal fight against China right now, not in the future. According to Professor Yankov, there are two most significant instruments to help Vietnam with that legal battle, including: the 1982 UNCLOS and a united Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“China is a major power but they do not respect the convention [UNCLOS] to which they are a signatory. We could not ignore such violations and Vietnam should take legal fight against them right today, not wait until tomorrow,” he said.
Experts emphasised the role of ASEAN in settling disputes in the East Sea by stepping up the implementation of the DOC as well as the signing of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
Additionally, as scholars proposed, if Vietnam decides to make use of legal means, it should pay special attention to a number of areas that Vietnam has its strengths in the burden of proof, particularly to legal issues regarding the incident of China’s placement of Oil Rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as this approach is agreed as the most possible focus at present time. As recommended by many scholars, Vietnam should prepare carefully and thoroughly, and take seriously into account its legal and historical evidences and the contents of its claim when needed.
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All comments [ 10 ]


Huy Quốc 1/8/14 22:00

I totally agree with the conclusion of this conference, Vietnam should consider to sue China in a international court as soon as possible.

Lê Tín 1/8/14 22:03

these conference are opportunity to create a forum for scholars to analyze, discuss, and express viewpoints to clarify legal issues regarding this incident under the perspective of international law.

Hùng Quân 1/8/14 22:06

Yes, there is no way else. Let's take them to the court!

Quân Hoàng 1/8/14 22:10

Differing from other previous conferences on the East Sea concentrating on such issues as historical aspects, geo-political position of the East Sea, the mutual interactions among countries that claim their sovereignty titles on the East Sea, maritime and aviation security and safety; economic and commercial cooperation among countries in the region and the world; the management of disputes and conflicts in the East Sea…, focuses of this conference are given to legal issues, particularly to the analysis and assessment of the incident of China’s placement of Oil Rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf under the perspective of international law.

Quốc Cường 1/8/14 22:14

We need more conferences like that, don't just focus on evidence, we need to understand legal aspects of the matter.

Phạm Hiếu 1/8/14 22:17

I highly appreciate the presense of Mr Yankov, he is a famous and influential person who could make our allegation be forceful and draw more attention and support from international community.

Vân Nhàn 1/8/14 22:22

Eventually, they have withdrawn out of our territory, we must promote our sovereignty claims and take advantage of international supports to make sure China will never come back.

Huy Lâm 1/8/14 22:24

From international law perspective, the scholars believed that the incident of China’s placement of Oil Rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf is the act that constitutes a violation of the United Nations Charter, the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea 1982

Hoàng Lân 1/8/14 22:28

I can't imagine how Chinese scholars would react to those international supports from international experts for Vietnam.

Quốc Kiên 1/8/14 22:30

However, as recommended by many scholars, Vietnam should prepare carefully and thoroughly, and take seriously into account its legal and historical evidences and the contents of its claim when needed.

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