In an interview with the BBC, Dr. Tran Cong Truc, former head of Vietnam ‘s Government Border Committee, affirmed that four scenarios Beijing could do if Vietnam sues China in the international court-drawn recently by Mr. Wu Shicun, director of China’s National Institute for the South China Sea Studies (NISCSS), are just “threatening, provoking, and nothing new” because “in fact, China has done these things for a long time.”
In the first scenario, China threatened to announce the baseline system in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratlys), which Beijing named Nansha.
In fact, China has been doing this since 1996, when they connected all the outermost points of Vietnam’s Paracels that China called Xisha, to form a baseline, as a nation-archipelago. This is China’s complete interpretation and application of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).
Many scholars have analyzed this misconduct. Especially in the note of the permanent delegation of Vietnam sent to the Secretary-General of the United Nations recently also affirmed the position of 1982 UNCLOS, stipulating that it is impossible to connect all points of entities outside the Paracels to turn it into a baseline, as an archipelagic country.
Mr. Truc claimed that China was doing the same with the Spratlys. The reason they have not published the baseline here is due to a lot of condemnation, so they are considering. They are also planning to expand and occupy a number of shoals outside the Spratlys, near the exclusive economic continental shelf of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines.
This is the deliberate interpretation and wrong application of the convention to realize the implementation of the nine-dash illegal road claim. Now they just repeat this old story but it has no value in terms of international law.
However, Truc said that this is the scenario that China is most likely to do because the publication of the baseline of the Spratlys will contribute to the implementation of a strategy that China called Sansha, justifying its illegal cow tongue lines.
For the second scenario, China threatens to promote the prohibition, beating, and detention of Vietnamese fishermen operating in the waters around the Paracels and the Spratlys. They also made this a long time ago. Every year, China also announces its decision to ban fishing, every year it burns ships, detains and beats Vietnamese fishermen.
The international community has also assessed this as a “pirate” act of a state nature. And China will continue to do this as long as it meets its ambition to control and monopolize the South China Sea, without waiting for Vietnam to sue.
However, according to Mr. Truc, China’s blocking of the protection and management activities of Vietnam’s forces on Vietnam’s sovereign entities in the current situation is not a simple task because Vietnam is trying cooperation with other countries to strengthen their defense and fighting power.
When touching the sacred territory, according to the tradition of the Vietnamese, “all people including women will fight against the invaders.” Once the territory is under threat, then surely the Vietnamese people will hold up their guns to defend and fight until the last minute. Therefore China cannot easily do this.
For the third scenario, China threatens to prevent Vietnam from militarizing in the Spratlys. The fact that they say Vietnam is militarizing is completely fabricated. China is the one militarizing the South China Sea.
Vietnam is holding at least 21 islands and reefs on the Spratlys, and is constructing military, scientific and technical forces to manage and protect their sovereignty over those entities. It is a very normal thing that Vietnam has done so far to carry out its rights and obligations.
China has long threatened Vietnam, even using force to capture, causing disaster for Vietnamese people while on duty to protect the Spratlys, such as the Gac Ma (South Johnson Reef).
China will continue these actions, but in the current context when many countries around the world have voiced objections, China will have to consider more or less before taking action.
For the fourth scenario, China threatens to develop oil and gas exploitation in Vietnam’s Vanguard Bank. In fact, China has already tried to do it but failed.
Last year, China put Hai Duong geological ship into operation in the Vanguard Bank for over a month to explore conditions to conduct exploitation here.
China has done this many times and until now Vietnam still stands there, conducting oil and gas exploration and exploration and still defending its legal rights in this area.
In the current COVID-19 pandemic, although China is expanding its activities in the South China Sea while the world is focusing on dealing with the disease. Countries in the region, including those previously soft to China like Malaysia , Philippines, Indonesia now also have strong voices against China and support Vietnam’s position.
Strong countries in the world such as the US, the EU, India, and Japan all voiced their opposition to China and called for the international community to uphold the law. If China continues these blatant actions, humanity will not let it do whatever it wants. Therefore, Mr. Truc emphasized that although China is threatening and aggressive, it can be done not another story.
Also according to Mr. Truc, at this time, Vietnam should not sue China for the South China Sea.
He said: “What can be sued now is like the Philippines did, suing China for the wrong application of UNCLOS 1982. But it should be remembered that despite the court ruling, the execution of the ruling is not implemented. This is due to the current enforcement mechanism of the international judicial bodies through the United Nations Security Council, which China is a permanent member, has veto power.
That is, winning a law would benefit political, diplomatic, legal, public opinion, and the outcome would become a practice in international law on which people would fight to protect the public. physical. But as said, the execution of the verdict is in fact not available. Therefore Vietnam must count. It is necessary to gather the opinions of experts, lawyers, and public opinion to have a united voice.”
The expert said that Vietnam now needs to gather more public opinion to fight for diplomacy and to strengthen solidarity to maintain the 1982 UNCLOS convention.
He said: “Before China defies everything to commit illegal acts, Vietnam must unite itself and evaluate the nature of events calmly, scientifically, not on the basis of idealism. In order to do so, it must clearly show its legal stance for international friends to agree to support. I think Vietnam has done a number of things recently, thus getting the support of many countries in the world.
The defense potential of Vietnam has been increasingly improved. Vietnam is strong enough to defend itself against the illegal actions of other countries, especially China.”
Currently, China is facing numerous difficulties, deadlocked from internal to external.
Domestically, the Wuhan pandemic has caused tens of millions of people to lose their jobs in China, putting pressure on the welfare network to patch up and create great challenges for Beijing. The economy fell 6.8% in the first quarter and now the unemployment crisis has revealed profound problems in property development and distribution in China. After four decades of rapid economic growth, many workers now find themselves completely dependent on themselves or living off their family savings. While 2020 is expected to be a milestone, with the nation’s goal of becoming a “fully prosperous society” by the end of the year, reflected in the doubling of the economy compared to 2010, together with the successful reduction of hunger and poverty. Xi’s 2020 plan has been bankrupt by the Wuhan virus, his promise to 1.4 billion Chinese people will become a promise and Xi’s emperor will be broken.
Not to mention southern regions of China with many days of heavy rain causing floods, 24 provinces and cities such as Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guizhou, Chongqing, etc., continuously reported disaster information. , at least 8,512 million people were affected, 138,000 houses were damaged. The government issued a warning, this year’s flooding is the largest flood since 1949 to date, especially the heavy rainfall in the upstream area of the Three Gorges Dam, will pose a serious challenge to the giant dam.
In addition, the capital of Beijing witnessed an Covid-19 outbreak starting on June 11 and up to now there have appeared more than 200 new cases, and the disease has also spread to many other provinces. The Beijing government has acknowledged the panemic situation in the capital city difficult and complicated, and the prevention and control of diseases is in a critical time.