Row with China may derail Asia growth

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 President Benigno Aquino 3rd joins President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Prime Minister Nguyen tan Dung of Vietnam and Vice President U Nyan Tun of Myanmar at the start of the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Makati City on Thursday. AFP PHOTO

President Benigno Aquino 3rd joins President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Prime Minister Nguyen tan Dung of Vietnam and Vice President U Nyan Tun of Myanmar at the start of the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Makati City on Thursday. AFP PHOTO

China’s “provocative” actions at sea may derail economic growth in the region, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told political and business leaders attending the 23rd World Economic Forum (WEF) in Manila on Thursday.

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”Development is not possible without peace and stability,” Dung said as he noted that the disputes over sovereignty have been “evolving with complexity” and “seriously threatening peace and security in the region.”

”At present, over three-fourths of global goods are shipped via maritime transportation, of which two-thirds travel via the East Sea, and a risk of conflict will disrupt these huge flows of goods and have a foreseeable impact on regional and world economies,” he added.

”It might even reverse the trend at global economic recovery,” Dung said.

The Vietnam leader specifically cited the presence of a giant oil rig, which he said China placed deep into Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

”This gravely violates the international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, the DOC, to which China is also a signatory,” Dung said.

He added that China’s action has “indirectly threatened peace, stability and maritime security and safety and freedom of navigation and aviation” in the region.

According to Dung, Vietnam has always exercised “utmost restraint” but China ignored all attempts to discuss the issue.

”On the contrary, it has been slandering and blaming Vietnam while continuing to use force and escalate its increasingly adventurous and serious act of intimidation and violation,” he said, adding that its citizens have been outraged by the issue.

”The entire Vietnamese nation has been protesting against China’s wrongdoings. In various colleges in the country, people have spontaneously launched demonstrations, and some more people have become restive and violated the law,” Dung said.

But he also noted that the Vietnamese government “has timely contained the acts of infringement and swiftly punished law violators.”

The Vietnamese leader asked the WEF delegates to support his country in its call for China to follow international law in settling territorial disputes.

”The solidarity and cooperation of the international community, which we hope to continue to receive, and this is essential for preventing acts of international law violation,” he said.

”We hope that you and the World Economic Forum will continue to make positive contribution to the building of an Asia Pacific Region of peace, stability, cooperation and prosperous development,” Dung added.

Tensions
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Asia’s future could go one of two ways.

The first—which he characterized as “a good scenario”—includes China’s rise as “a benign power” similar to the United States and with “a stable strategic environment that will foster regional economic integration.”

But “in a less benign scenario… tremendous growth in China’s power can prove too much for the regional order to accommodate,” Lee said.

Without regional trust “maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas [will]continue to fester [and there will be]tensions between other countries, too, arising from a result of historical issues, territorial disputes, and nationalist populism,” he added.

“Nationalism is a growing force in many Asian countries . . . as we have recently witnessed in anti-China protests in Vietnam.

“In Japan and [South] Korea, the history of the war continues to drive public sentiment toward each other.

“And in China . . . the country’s astonishing progress has aroused strong nationalistic feelings, and in these are to claim China’s rightful place in the sun after more than a century of humiliation,” he added.

This kind of strife will set back Asia’s economic development, Lee said, adding that China needed to be stitched into regional trade networks, including the ongoing talks over a mooted Trance-Pacific Partnership.

AFP

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4 Comments

  1. Because of China’s quick economic improvement she turned to bullying smaller countries
    in the region. The growth is not really sustainable because most foreign investments in country are moving back to their mainland. Products made in China does not meet the minimum safety standards of these countries. Take a look at the old USSR. It broke up. Now what.China’s adventurism someday will be back to bite back.

  2. China is member of WEF and everything happening in the China Sea is blessing of thier President. So with regards to economic agenda Asian country involve should boycot all all their product export that will provide real notice what Asian country wish for.
    While China bullying other country building thier Oil Rigs is on going.
    Other country pre empting assistance to Philippines is just publicity and this will not react till thier is a real coersion in the maretime.

    Business as usual accordingly, until Philippines is not in compromise
    The issue will prolong.

    The goverment should review Chinese community, People of the Phil’s get sick and tired of your publicity then is too late respond. I hope goverment will stop talking and make it action.

  3. Golden king on

    ASEAN unity is at lost, no direction, no single action. United we stand divided we fall. If fellow ASEAN will not be committed to charged, China with its arrogance and bullying prying other ASEAN not to be in uniformity with those complaining China’s illegal adventurism.

  4. The world is stressed by the unfavorable behavior of a member in the league of nations. Should China continue to assert its aggressiveness to grab territories of his neighbors, these whole scenario is not conducive to peace and economic stability in SEA in particular but the world in general. If China rejects the rule of law, and refuse to listen to reason, without regard to the rights of its neighbor, then he is perceived following the Lord of the jungle; his word is the law and the way, and nobody else matter, but what pleases him. ASEAN organization must be united in order to survive this serious challenge, one for all and all for one, the option is fragmentation, which favors China, but with negative impact to all members, and ASEAN. will fade away like a cloud with an impending bleak future.