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China needs stronger case in South China Sea issue

By Ding Gang (Global Times)

17:01, September 26, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

It has made a lot of people in China extremely indignant that India is actively participating in oil and gas exploitation with Vietnam in a part of the South China Sea that is within China's territorial waters. While answering the questions regarding this issue, the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China restated China's consistent stance: China opposes any prospecting or exploitation activity by any country of any oil and gas that lies in China's territorial waters.

However, after I checked all the related reports published by India, Vietnam and China, I still did not find any specific proof proving that the exploitation by Vietnam violates China's territorial waters. The spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China did not make any specific explanation either. In fact, everything on this issue looks obscure.

First, the statement made by Vietnam was obscure. The authority of Vietnam has repeated many times that "this area" is within its dominion. But, which area or areas is “this area?” Where is it on the map? There are still no answers for these questions. All I have found is only two code numbers: 127 and 128. India stated that this project does not involve China's territorial waters, and that was also a vague statement.

Some Chinese media said that the two areas are located in the waters around the Nansha Islands. But from the distribution map of Vietnam's blocks in the South China Sea on the Internet, it is hard to find an area that is close to the Nansha Islands and conflicts with the nine-dotted line. Both of these two viewpoints have not been clearly confirmed by the authority or a research institute, and therefore they are obscure too. So far, I have not seen any specific report made by the media on Vietnam's exploitation in this area.

Vietnam and India of course want it to be uncertain because the more unclear it is, the easier it is for them to carry out the exploitation. Vietnam even has made some practical progresses of exploitation in this uncertain situation.

However, China is different, and China must make it clear. China's related departments should open the detailed geographical materials on this issue to the public, and China should require Vietnam and India to offer the map showing the specific position of the area because it is a sensitive area, and if Vietnam and India have violated China's territorial waters and therefore broken the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the guideline for the implementation of the declaration, they should let the world know.

In recent years, as the South China Sea dispute was intensifying, the media of the Untied States, Western countries and some countries around the South China Sea were also creating the China Threat Theory based on it. One of the tricks they have played many times is to censure China by saying that China regards the South China Sea as its inland lake as they did after this incident occurred. Some foreign media stated that China said that history has proven that China has the right to claim the sovereignty of the entire South China Sea.

We must always be highly vigilant against the trap of trying to put a label of hegemony on China. China's media should avoid calling the South China Sea "China's South China Sea" and should not regard all the activities carried out by other countries in the South China Sea as violations of China's core interests. Instead of dealing with it in a low-key and vague way, China's related departments should show clearer proofs to the world regarding the issue of other countries violating China's sovereignty by exploiting the South China Sea.

The South China Sea issue must be solved peacefully. China should not join the other countries to play hide-and-seek forever. If it is ours, we will not give up an inch. If it is not ours, we will not accept an inch. It should not be obscure at all where the line should be drawn.

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Zhongyin at 2011-11-03121.249.23.*
Brave article and I realy appraciat his clear ans mature views. We should respects china's terrototy if it is belongs to china. But I feel that author will be or already in jail for writing so brave article thata some official may be think its a harm to china..but china should be mature now and repspects different opinions. One thing more..china should also consider that what it is doing in Aksai chin and POK and why developing army bases in pakistan and why developing dockyards in closer areas to India, its also a big concern to iindia's security as pakistan always trying to harm India but china should respect and be friendly with India as both countries own 40% of asian economy and they are key business and cultural partners. Please respect our 2000 years old friendship and dnt make our relation bad because of a terrorist country.Long live china.
Kinny_1310 at 2011-10-28123.16.20.*
I agree with the author about the opinion that China has to clarify the evidence over its sovereignty. We don't have considerable evidencereliability.
gnowf at 2011-10-1771.146.24.*
China claimed those islands based on history.There are evidences of chinese habitation on many of theseislands--historical artifacts, graves, temples and etc.Other claimants have few and little evidences and if they do, they are very recent.Vietnam"s claim only go back a few hundred years, China"s over a thousand years.Besides the surrounding nations didn"t have credible navies to speak of a few hundresd years ago .What"s more , Vietnam was even ruled by China for a thousand years.As for the UN convention of the sea, as what the Philippines is basing its" claims on, then Malaysia and Brunei can claim the same islands asthey also fall within their 200 mile limit.As a matter of fact, the Philippines tried to annex eastern Malaysia when the nation became indepedentin 1957. Indonesia too tried to take over a piece in Borneo.Both attempts failed because Britain stood by her former colony.Another internationally accepted ownership of Archipelago of islands, is that if you own the largest island , you own the archipelago.Philippines at one time tried to occupy this islandonly to be repulsed by Taiwanese forces stationed there.Do you seriously think that all these nations around south China seas have real legitimate claimsto the islands? It is only because China was weak ,the Status Quo persists.
antoine du at 2011-10-13122.169.2.*
I guess you are right. If south China sea is China"s, then Indian ocean is of India
Dongfeng at 2011-09-29113.161.76.*
Brave article. I agree with the author about the opinion that China has to clarify the evidence over its sovereignty. We must solve the problem peacefully.
  

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