onsdag 15. april 2020

China Sends Survey Vessel into Vietnamese Waters

China has sent a survey vessel involved in a standoff with Vietnam last year back into that nation’s exclusive economic zone this month, vessel-tracking data shows, in a move likely to fuel tensions between the two countries over their rival claims in the South China Sea. Vietnamese vessels are closely trailing the survey vessel, which is accompanied by a host of China Coast Guard (CCG) ships. The deployment comes less than two weeks after a Vietnamese fishing boat sank in a confrontation with a CCG ship near the disputed Paracel Islands, which prompted international criticism of Beijing.

“What is pretty obvious is China’s not going to stop,” Gregory Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative in Washington, said of China’s recent expansionist activities despite the worldwide coronavirus outbreak. “If a global pandemic doesn’t cause China to calm things down in the South China Sea, there’s not much that will.”