Official: Vietnam would win with China over East Sea

Vietnam would definitely win if decides to take the East Sea case to international court, said former chief of the Government Border Committee Tran Cong Truc.

 Former chief of the Government Border Committee Tran Cong Truc

Recently, China has said that it will agree to negotiations if Vietnam withdraws its ships from the area in question. What are your opinions on this?

I think it’s ridiculous. The Chinese oil rig invaded Vietnamese waters and exclusive economic zone. This area doesn’t have any relation to the disputed islands. Our forces have no reason to withdraw before negotiation. China is trying to put pressure on us, but we would under no circumstances agree to such unreasonable terms.

If we bring the case to international court along with other disputes over China’s aggressive actions in Vietnamese seas, would we win the case?

As a person who has researched this for many years, I think Vietnam would definitely win. We are standing on firm legal ground and our actions have been in accordance with international laws. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 was made so that nations follow certain conventions to solve such disputes.

Do you think that it’s a coincidence that China chose this time to bring their oil rig into Vietnamese waters or it was a calculated move?

This was a result of careful calculation. They chose this time, when the world was facing many problems, such as the problems in Ukraine, so that less attention would be paid to disputes on the East Sea.

China has also tried other countries to see what their reactions would be and how far they would go to protect their interests. They have done so even before bringing out their oil rig. Now we must keep a close eye on China’s moves.

Before China brought the oil rig into Vietnamese waters, they made other provocations. Do you think that the situation will continue to escalate after this drilling rig issue?

Before this oil rig problem, China acted in belligerent ways in the fields of politics, foreign policy and international diplomacy. They explored, threatened and chose this time to start a new and dangerous confrontation. They won’t stop there. I believe they are determined to realise their announced ambitions, the ‘nine-dashed lines’, a territorial claim that takes up 85% of the East Sea. It depends on us to prevent this from happening.

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