16/05/2014 16:52 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Belgian, Italian journalists worry about East Sea situation

A Belgian journalist has stated that the world community is turning back on China over its illegal dispatch of oil rig Haiyang Shiyou – 981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

In an interview with a Vietnam News Agency reporter on May 14, Mass Boup, an expert on politics and development for Africa, Caribbean, the Asia-Pacific and the European Union described this act as part of China’s politically-driven scheme against its neighbours, adding that it is unacceptable.

He called on regional countries to stand united against China’s territory encroachment which, he said, has run counter to international law and posed danger to the world as well.

Boup also hailed ASEAN as an important pillar in settling the current dispute, especially the statement on the East Sea issued at its recent summit in Myanmar.

China needs to sit down with ASEAN member states to reach a peaceful solution, he noted.

The same day, Italy’s leading geopolitical magazine Limes ran an article about the ongoing tension in the East Sea, voicing concern that Beijing is intensifying its territorial claim and adopting a diplomatic policy of intimidation.

China is setting a dangerous precedent, author Giorgio Cuscio commented.

As China is seeking new sources of energy to fuel its economic expansion, he implied that the East Sea has become a target as it is thought to have a reserve of 23-30 billion cb.m of oil.

The strategic sea is also on an important international navigation, he added.

On May 2, China stationed the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 nautical miles inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

China has deployed some 90 vessels of various kinds to the area, including military, coast guard, marine surveillance, marine patrol and fishing ships.

The provocative acts by China, including the ramming and firing of water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard ships during their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters, have left many Vietnamese ships damaged and fisheries surveillance officers injured.