Czech experts call for strong reaction to China’s escalation of tension in East Sea

Czech experts say the international community should strongly react to China's recent actions that have escalated tensions in the East Sea, following the return of Chinese survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 to Vietnam's exclusive economic zone.

Alex Svamberg, an international security analyst at the online Czech newspaper Novinky.cz, said China's sending of its Haiyang Dizhi 8 survey vessel and several escorts to Vietnam's exclusive economic zone in the Tu Chinh reef (known internationally as the Vanguard Bank) is a continuation of provocations in the East Sea. This act violates international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which in turn undermines peace and stability in the region. The international community does not recognize the artificial islands illegally built by China in the East Sea, said Svamberg, who acknowledged Vietnam's strong resistance. He added that Vietnam, with its foreign policy of multilateralization and diversification, will receive support from ASEAN countries and world powers such as the US, Russia, Japan, Australia, and India.

Jan Hornat, specialist with the Institute of International Relations of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Vaclav Kopecky, Asia Security Expert of the Czech Association for International Affairs (AMO), said that China's unilateral construction and militarization in the East Sea has drawn condemnation from countries around the world, including from the US, who recently carried out freedom of navigation operations in the East Sea.

According to Hornat, the open and free East Sea is important to the EU, and China has no legal basis for claiming sovereignty over the majority of the East Sea within its so-called nine-dash line.

In July, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague rejected China's nine-dash line claim in its ruling on a lawsuit filed by the Philippines.

Source: VOV5