21/05/2014 15:15 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Experts: China scores own goal with actions in East Sea

Tokyo , May 21 (VNA) – China will suffer from diplomatic losses rather than gains from its illegal positioning of an oil rig in Vietnam ’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, according to experts from Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) in recent interviews granted to Vietnam News Agency correspondents.

China on May 2 stationed the drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam ’s exclusive economic zone.

Dr. Tomotaka Shoji from the Japanese Defence Ministry’s National Institute of Defence Studies said that China ’s act is part of a strategy to raise its influence and control over the East Sea .

However, the move will cause many losses to China , the greatest of which is its marred relations with Vietnam and with ASEAN in general, he added.

Sharing the same viewpoint, Prof. Kim Tae-wan, head of the Political Science Department of the RoK’s Dong-Eui University , said the placement of the rig means that China will not give up its sovereign claims in the East Sea .

While China is also locking horns with other countries like Japan and the Philippines over territorial disputes, its unilateral move has fuelled suspicion that the country is fostering its economic and military strength, he added.

Kim said the current situation will not last long since China does not want its neighbours to unite to restrain it.

He also underlined the role of ASEAN in solving the current tensions, adding that continuing discussions and making use of ASEAN-related meetings are effective measures.

To that end, ASEAN member nations need to have high internal agreement and cooperation from the bloc’s partner countries, the expert said.