Foreign scholars oppose China’s violation of Vietnam’s EEZ, continental shelf

China's geological survey has violated Vietnam's Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf in the south of the East Sea, according to experts at the 9th annual East Sea conference in Washington D.C on Wednesday.

The one-day event, held at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) attracted many experts and scholars from research institutes of the US, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, China, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Participants discussed sovereignty claims in the East Sea and efforts to manage disputes peacefully.

Bill Hayton, chief expert on the East Sea of the British Royal Institute of International Affairs, said: It's a clear violation of Vietnam's Exclusive Economic Zone. I can't see any justification under the Law of the Sea for what China is doing. Now a question is how Vietnam responses to this and Vietnam seems to have every right to protect its EEZ. Under any definition on the Law of the Sea and the implication of the Tribunal ruling 3 years ago, the result is that part of the sea belongs to Vietnam.

Stein Tonnesson, professor of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway, recommended: I think that the Southeast Asian country must be very clear about defending the right they have under the Law of the Sea. The international community should encourage them to do so. At the same time, it's essential to be on speaking term with China. You must try all the time to get into talks with Chinese leaders and try to arrive at pragmatic, sensible solutions that will allow China to realize some of its interests with respect to the Law of the sea.

US Congressman Michael Gallagher twitted on Thursday that China's increasingly aggressive activities in the South China Sea are unacceptable. Congress must act to swiftly pass my bipartisan legislation with Republican Jimmy Panetta to impose steep costs in response to China's militarization and land grabs in the region.

The two congressmen introduced the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act in June 2016, which would sanction individuals and entities that support China's illegitimate activities in the areas.

Source: VOV5