Você está na página 1de 36

Deference/Defiance:SoutheastAsia, ChinaandtheSouthChinaSea

CarlyleA.Thayer

PapertotheWorkshop,TheDeerandtheDragon:SoutheastAsia andChinainthe21stCentury,cosponsoredbySoutheastAsia Forum,ShorensteinAsiaPacificResearchCenter,Stanford UniversityandtheChinaProgramme,InstituteofDefenceand SecurityStudies,S.RajaratnamSchoolofInternationalStudies, NanyangTechnologicalUniversity,Singapore November1516,2012

Deference/Defiance:SoutheastAsia,China, andtheSouthChinaSea
CarlyleA.Thayer

Introduction
Southeast Asian states have had to contend with South China Sea issues involving China/Taiwansincethe1950s.Inthecontemporaryperiod,SoutheastAsianstatesgrouped intheAssociationofSoutheastAsianNations(ASEAN)issuedtheirfirstformalstatementon the South China Sea in 1992 in response to tensions arising from Chinas occupation of features claimed by Vietnam.1 In 1995, when China occupied Mischief Reef, a maritime featureclaimedbythePhilippines,ASEANforeignministersissuedtheirsecondstatement on the South China Sea. It expressed their serious concern and urged the concerned (unnamed) parties to refrain from taking actions that destabilize the situation.2 These singular events occurred before Chinas economic rise began to take hold and become perhapsthesinglemoreimportantdriverinrelationsbetweenChinaandSoutheastAsia. China and the ASEAN stated have been engaged in diplomatic discussions of South China SeaissuessincetheMischiefReefincident.AlthoughbothASEANandChinadrewuptheir owncodesofconductfortheSouthChinaSeatheywereunabletoreachagreementona commontext.Thisresultedinthe2002DeclarationonConductofPartiesintheSouthChina Sea (DOC). Negotiations continued until mid2011 when ASEAN and China agreed on GuidelinestoImplementtheDOC.Thesearestillunderdiscussion.3

ASEANDeclarationOnTheSouthChinaSea,Manila,Philippines,22July1992. http://www.aseansec.org/1196.htm.
2

Statement by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers on the Recent Developments in the South China Sea 18 March 1995;http://www.aseansec.org/2089.htm.
3

Forbackgroundconsult:CarlyleA.Thayer,"ASEANSCodeofConductintheSouthChinaSea:ALitmusTest forCommunityBuilding?,"TheAsiaPacificJournal,Vol.10,Issue34,No.4,August20,2012.

In2007andcontinuinguptothepresent,Chinabegantobecomemoreassertiveinpushing itssovereigntyclaims.4Chineseassertivenessinvolvedputtingforeignoilcompaniesunder diplomatic pressure not to assist Vietnam in developing its hydrocarbon resources in contested maters and increasing aggressive action against Vietnamese boats in waters surroundingtheParacelIslands.Theyear2009markedaturningpoint.Chinarespondedto submissions by Malaysia and Vietnam to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of theContinentalShelfbyofficiallytablingforthefirsttimeaushapedmapcontainingnine dash lines claiming over eighty percent of the South China Sea. Chinese civilian agencies thenbecameactiveinattemptingtoassertjurisdictionoverthesewaters.Thisresultedin numerous incidents between China and the Philippines and Vietnam including Chinese actions in driving off an oil exploration vessel in waters claimed by the Philippines and cuttingthecablesontwovesselsconductingseismictestsinVietnamsExclusiveEconomic Zone(EEZ).

For background see: Ian Storey and Carlyle A. Thayer, The South China Sea Dispute: A Review of DevelopmentsandTheirImplicationssincethe2002DeclarationontheConductofParties,inK.V.Kesavan andDaljitSingh,eds.,SouthandSoutheastAsia:RespondingtoChangingGeoPoliticalandSecurityChallenges (Singapore:InstituteofSoutheastAsianStudiesandNewDelhi:KWPublishersPvtLtd,2010),5772;.Carlyle A.Thayer,RecentDevelopmentsintheSouthChinaSea:ImplicationsforPeace,StabilityandCooperationin the Region, in Tran Truong Thuy, ed., The South China Sea: Cooperation for Regional Security and Development:ProceedingsoftheInternationalWorkshopcoorganizedbytheDiplomaticAcademyofVietnam andtheVietnamLawyersAssociation,2627November2009,Hanoi,Vietnam(Hanoi:NhaXuatBanTheGioi, 2010), 125138; Carlyle A. Thayer, Recent Developments in the South China Sea: Grounds for Cautious Optimism?, RSIS Working Paper No. 220 (Singapore: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang TechnologicalUniversity,Singapore,December14,2010;CarlyleA.Thayer,SecurityCooperationintheSouth ChinaSea:AnAssessmentofRecentTrends,in,NationalSecurityReviewspecialedition,TheSouthChinaSea Reader,PapersandProceedingsoftheManilaConferenceontheSouthChinaSea:TowardARegionofPeace, Cooperation and Progress, July 56, 2011, Manila, Philippines (Manila: National Defense College of the Philippines, Foreign Service Institute and Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, 2011), 1340; Carlyle A. Thayer, RecentDevelopmentsintheSouthChinaSea:ImplicationsforRegionalSecurity,inTranTruongThuy,ed., The South China Sea: Towards a Region of Peace, Security and Cooperation (Hanoi: Nha Xuat Ban The Gioi, 2011), 117140; Carlyle A. Thayer, Chinese Assertiveness in the South China Sea and Southeast Asian Responses, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 30(2), 2011, 77104 and Carlyle A. Thayer, Chinas New Wave of Aggressive Assertiveness in the South China Sea, The International Journal of China Studies [InstituteofChinaStudies,UniversityofMalaya],2(3),December2011,555583.

Six countries lay claim to the islands, features and waters in the South China Sea: China, Taiwan(RepublicofChina),Vietnam,thePhilippines,MalaysiaandBrunei.Thispaperoffers a preliminary analysis of how Southeast Asian states have responded to Chinas growing assertivenessofsovereigntyintheSouthChinaSea.ThepaperarguesthatSoutheastAsian responsesliealongthespectrumfromdefiancetodeferenceandofteninvolveamixtureof thetwoapproaches.ThepaperbeginswithChinastwomainprotagoniststhePhilippines and Vietnam and then moves to the middle of the spectrum with a focus on Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia before moving to the end of the spectrum Thailand and Cambodia.

ThePhilippines
ThePhilippinesexpelledtheUnitedStatesfrommilitarybasesintheearly1990s.TheArmed ForcesofthePhilippines(AFP)havebeeninvolvedoverwhelminglyindomesticallyfocused missions. The AFP navy and air force are badly run down and are unable to contribute meaningfullytoexternaldefence.AtfirstglancethePhilippinesisanunlikelycandidateto showdefianceinthefaceofChinesesovereigntyclaimstotheSouthChinaSea. President Benigno Aquino III assumed office in June 30, 2010 and quickly had to confront increased Chinese naval activities in the Philippines EEZ. There was a marked step up in Chinesenavalandparamilitaryactivitiesinthefourthquarterof2010andatleastsixmajor incidentsinvolvingviolationsofPhilippinesovereigntytookplaceinthefirsthalfof2011.In 2012amajorsixweekstandoffatScarboroughShoaloccurred.5 Of all the Southeast Asian claimants to the South China Sea the Philippines has been the most vociferous in responding to Chinese assertiveness through diplomatic protests, bilateraldiscussions,assertionsofsovereignty,revitalizationofitsalliancewiththeUnited States,forcemodernization,andregionalizingandinternationalizingthedispute. DiplomaticProtests.ThePhilippinesDepartmentofForeignAffairshasvigorouslyprotested eachandeveryChineseintrusionintoitswatersandairspacebydeliveringNotesVerbales totheChineseEmbassyinManila.Thecontentsofthesediplomaticnoteshavebeenmade

CarlyleA.Thayer,IsthePhilippinesanOrphan?,TheDiplomat,May2,2012.http://the diplomat.com/2012/05/02/isthephilippinesanorphan/.

publicviathepress. BilateralDiscussions.Filipinoofficialshaverepeatedlyraisedtheirconcernsaboutincidents in the South China Sea through diplomatic channels with Chinese officials. For example, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin raised South China Sea issues when Chinas Defence Minister,GeneralLiangGuangliepaidanofficialvisittothePhilippinesinMay2011.6 President Aquino paid an official visit to China from August 30September 3, 2011. After discussions with his counterpart, President Hu Jintao, they issued a Joint Statement that revealed that economic matters featured prominently. It appears that President Aquino playedtheSouthChinaSeaissuesoftly,softlyandtheonlyreferencetotheSouthChina Seacameinpoint15(of17)intheJointStatement:
Both leaders exchanged views on the maritime disputes and agreed not to let the maritime disputes affect the broader picture of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. The two leaders reiterated their commitment to addressing the disputes through peaceful dialogue,tomaintaincontinuedregionalpeace,security,stabilityandanenvironmentconducive toeconomicprogress.Bothleadersreaffirmedtheircommitmentstorespectandabidebythe Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed by China and the ASEAN membercountriesin2002.7

This same pattern of tip toeing around the South China Sea issue was evident during the 18th Foreign Ministry Consultations held in Manila on October 19, 2012. China was represented by it Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying. A statement issued by Department of
Foreign Affairs on the consultations did not mention the South China Sea specifically as one of the issues discussed. It may have been included in the sentence, Both sides discussed issues of concern and agreed to continue the dialogue.8

Assertions of Sovereignty. The Philippines continues to assert its sovereignty in the South China Sea by granting offshore oil and gas exploration licenses in areas claimed by China,

6 7

ABSCBNNews,China,PHagreetoholdregulartalksonSpratlys,May23,2011.

Joint Statement of the Philippines and China, Beijing, September 1, 2011, reprinted in Inquirer Global Nation,September7,2011.
8

SecretarydelRosarioreceivesChineseViceForeignMinisterFuYing,DepartmentofForeignAffairsPress Release,October19,2012. http://www.gov.ph/2012/10/19/secretarydelrosarioreceiveschinesevice foreignministerfuying/.

such as Area 3 and Area 4 in waters off Palawan.9 The Philippines also continues to modernize facilities on features in the South China Sea. In March 2012, for example, the PhilippinesannounceditwouldupgradefacilitiesonPagasaIslandbybuildingarollonroll offdockforferryboats.10ThePhilippineshasalsoofficiallydesignatedtheSouthChinaSea astheWestPhilippinesSeatoemphasisitssovereigntyclaims. ThePhilippinesalsohastakenactionagainstwhatitregardsaillegalpoachingbyChinese fishermen.Forexample,onApril10,2012,thePhilippinesNavydispatchedthefrigateBRP GregoriodelPilartoScarboroughShoaltoinvestigatethepresenceofeightChinesefishing boats.11Anarmedboardingpartyfromthefrigatediscoveredthatthefishingboatswerein possessionofalargeillegalcatchofcoral,giantclamsandlivesharks.Chinaintervenedby interposing twoChinaMarineSurveillancevesselsbetweenthefishermenandthefrigate. ThePhilippineswithdrewthefrigateandreplaceditwithaCoastGuardcutter.Thisledtoa sixweek standoff. At one point China deployed nearly one hundred surveillance ships, fishing boats, and utility craft in the lagoon at Scarborough Shoal.12 Efforts to resolve this incident though diplomatic means foundered as both parties claimed that Scarborough Shoalwasanintegralpartoftheirnationalterritory. RevitalizationoftheU.S.Alliance.ChineseassertivenessinwatersclaimedbythePhilippines ledtoPresidentAquinototakestepstorevitalizeitsalliancewiththeUnitedStatesandto seekclarificationofwhetherornottheir1951MutualDefenseTreaty(MDT)wouldapplyin thecaseofconflictwithChinaintheSouthChinaSea. The Philippines policy of revitalizing its alliance with the U.S. has been reinforced by the Obama Administrations new defence policy of rebalancing towards the AsiaPacific. This has already resulted in a step up in U.S. access to the Philippines. For example, between MayandOctober2012,fourU.S.Navynuclearsubmarines(SSNs)havemadeportcalls:USS

Thomas Hogue, Philippines set to award offshore oil, gas blocks despite China claims: report, Platts, February 28, 2012; Associated Press, Philippines reignites row with China over oil exploration rights, The Guardian,February29,2012.
10

PiaLeeBrago,ChinahitsplanforPagasadevt,ThePhilippineStar,March27,2012andPhilippinesto builddockonSouthChinaSeaisland,PeoplesDaily,March23,2012.
11

CarlyleA.Thayer,StandoffintheSouthChinaSea:ScarboroughShoalstandoffrevealsbluntedgeofChinas peacefulrise,YaleGlobalOnline,June12,2012.http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/standoffsouthchinasea.
12

ManuelMogato,Reuters,Philippinespullsshipsfromdisputedshoalduetoweather,June16,2012.

North Carolina (May), USS Louisville (June), USS Hawaii (September) and USS Olympia (October). ForceModernization.In2011,inresponsetoChineseassertivenessthePhilippinesdrewup anewdefencestrategywithanewemphasisonexternalterritorialdefence.InSeptember 2011,forexample,immediatelyafterPresidentAquinosstatevisittoBeijing,heannounced that4.95billionpesos(US$118million)wouldbeallocatedtotopupthedefencebudget.13 These funds were earmarked for the purchase a naval patrol vessel, six helicopters and other military equipment in order to secure the Malampaya project located in disputed waters off the coast of Palawan. In 2012 the Philippines began funding a fiveyear AFP modernizationprogramtotallingP40billion(orP8billionannually). The Philippines has taken delivery of two former U.S. Coast Guard Weather Endurance Cutters (the first was rechristened Gregario del Pilar) and assigned them the mission of protecting the Philippines EEZ. The Philippines also expects to take delivery of three new Taiwanmanufactured MultiPurpose Attack Craft and procure two additional U.S. Coast Guard Cutters.14 Philippines officials have floated a wish listof new equipment including: coastal radar, longrange patrol aircraft, strategic sea lift vessels, offshore patrol boats, naval helicopters, air defence radar, jet trainers, surface attack aircraft, antiship missiles, and a submarine.15 In addition to assistance from the United States, the Philippines has approachedbothJapanandSouthKoreaforhelpinforcemodernisation. Regionalizing and Internationalizing the Dispute. The Philippines sought to regionalize its disputewithChinabylaunchinganewinitiativecallingfortheSouthChinaSeatobecomea ZoneofPeace,Freedom,FriendshipandCooperation(ZOPFF/C).Aquinoexplained,whatis ours is ours, and with what is disputed, we can work towards joint cooperation.16 The ZOPFF/C proposal was formally presented to the 44th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 2011. The 19th ASEAN Summit took note of these discussions and recommended that further study on the proposal is required, in particular, its legal, technical and political

13 14

AgenceFrancePresse,PhilippinesUpsSpendingToGuardSouthChinaSea,September7,2011.

Reuters, Philippines says will spend $255 min on military helicopters, boats, April 13, 2011 and Agence FrancePresse,PhilippineshopesseadisputewithChinashouldease,September3,2011.
15 16

AlexisRomero,SubmarineforNavy?NoybaresAFPshoplist,ThePhilippineStar,August24,2011.

AlbertF.DelRosario,ARulesBasedRegimeinTheSouthChinaSeaBy:SecretaryofForeignAffairs,Public InformationServiceUnit,June7,2011.

feasibility.17InJanuary2012thePhilippinessubmittedadraftCodeofConducttoASEAN seniorofficialsforconsideration.WhenASEANseniorofficialsfinallyreachedagreementon the key elements of the ASEAN draft COC it was evident that the Philippines had to compromiseaskeyelementsoftheZOPFF/Cweredropped.18 ThePhilippineshasalsosoughttointernationalizeitsterritorialdisputewithChinabyraising thematterattheUnitedNations.Forexample,onApril5,2011thePhilippinessubmitteda lettertotheUNformallyrestatingitsclaimtosovereigntyovertheKalayaanIslandGroup (KIG), adjacent waters and geological features, including relevant waters, seabed and subsoil.19 In June 2011 President Aquino threatened to raise Chinese intrusions into its waters with theUnitedNations.20ThefollowingmonthForeignSecretaryAlbertDelRosarioproposedto hisChinesecounterpartForeignMinisterYangJiechiinBeijingthattheirterritorialdispute shouldbetakentotheUNsInternationalTribunalfortheLawoftheSeaforarbitration.21

Vietnam
In1992,afterChinaandVietnamnormalizeddiplomaticrelationsaftermorethanadecade ofestrangementoverCambodia,theSouthChinaSeaemergedasagrowingirritantintheir relationship. In February China promulgated a law on territorial waters that reiterated its sovereigntyovertheSouthChinaSea.AtthesametimeChinaoccupiedThreeHeadedRock, a feature claimed by Vietnam. In May, China granted the American Crestone Energy CorporationexplorationrightsinTuChinhbankandinJuly1992Chinaplantedaterritorial markeronDacLacreef,bothfeaturesinwatersclaimedbyVietnam.22

17

ChairsStatementofthe19 ASEANSummitBali,17November2011,Point149.

th

18Thayer,"ASEANSCodeofConductintheSouthChinaSea:ALitmusTestforCommunityBuilding?."
19

PhilippineMissiontotheUnitedNations,LettertotheSecretaryGeneraloftheUnitedNations,1100494, No. 000228, New York, April 5, 2011. The KIG contains nine geological features: Balagtas (Irving Reef), Kota (Loaita),Lawak(Nanshan),Likas(WestYork),Pagasa(Thitu),,Panata(Lankiam),Parola(NortheastCay),Patag Island(FlatIslandisalsoconsideredapartoftheSpratlys)andRizal(CommodoreReef).
20

JohannaPaolaPoblete,PhilippinespreparingissuesforUNaboutChinaintrusions,BusinessWorld,June 2,2011.
21 22

BloombergNews,U.S.JointNavyDrillsInappropriate:China,July11,2011.

CarlyleA.Thayer,Vietnam:CopingwithChina,inDaljitSingh,ed.,SoutheastAsianAffairs1994(Singapore: InstituteofSoutheastAsianStudies,1994),356357.

InJune1992,thethirdplenumoftheVietnamCommunistParty(VCP)CentralCommittee grappledwiththeideologicalimplicationsoftensionandpotentialconflictbetweensocialist states. The plenum concluded that in its relations with the major powers Vietnam could bothcooperateandstruggle(hoptacvadautranh)whilemaintainingrelationsofpeaceful coexistence.23 In July 2003, the VCP Central Committees eighth plenum redefined its ideological approach to interstate relations by adopting the concepts doi tac (object of cooperation)anddoituong(objectofstruggle).Inotherwords,Vietnamhadcometoview its relations with China and the United States as containing elements of both cooperation andstrugglewheneitherstateadoptedpoliciesthataffectedVietnamsnationinterests.24 Deference/Cooperation InMarch1999,asummitmeetingoftheleadersoftheChineseCommunistParty(CCP)and the VCP adopted a sixteencharacter guideline calling for longterm, stable, future orientated, goodneighborly and allround cooperative relations. In 2000, a summit meeting of state presidents from China and Vietnam codified their bilateral relations in a Joint Statement for Comprehensive Cooperation in the New Century. This document has served as the framework for longterm statetostate relations up to the present. In June 2008,followinganothersummitofpartyleadersinBeijing,bilateralrelationswereofficially raised to that of strategic partners, and a year later this was upgraded to a strategic cooperativepartnership. Vietnam utilizes its strategic partnership with China to show deference through a dense network of party, state, defence and multilateral mechanisms with the aim of enmeshing China in a web of bilateral cooperation in the hopes of making Chinese behaviour more predictable.25 Nevertheless, the South China Sea has proved an intractable issue. Vietnam

23 24

HongHa,TinhhinhthegioivachinhsachdoingoaicuaNuocta,TapChiCongSan,1992,12,pp.1112.

CarlyleA.Thayer,TheTyrannyofGeography:VietnameseStrategiestoConstrainChinaintheSouthChina Sea,ContemporarySoutheastAsia,33(3),2011,348369.
25

Carlyle A. Thayer, Vietnam and Rising China: The Structural Dynamics of Mature Asymmetry, in Daljit Singh, ed., Southeast Asian Affairs 2010 Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2010), 392409 and Carlyle A. Thayer, Vietnam on the Road to Global Integration: Forging Strategic Partnerships Through International Security Cooperation, Paper to the 4th Vietnam Studies Conference, International Relations Panel, cosponsored by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences and Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam,November2630,2012,forthcoming.

10

has sought to compartmentalize this dispute from damaging other aspects of the broader bilateral relationship. In sum, Vietnam promotes cooperation with China while defying/strugglingwithChinaovercompetingsovereigntyclaimsintheSouthChinaSea. The subsections below illustrate how Vietnam has attempted to apply this strategy in its relations with China through partytoparty ties, statetostate relations and militaryto militarydialogue. PartytoPartyTies.Partytopartytiesformanintegralpartofthebilateralrelationshipand provide a conduit for Vietnam to further its national interests by promoting cooperation withChina.Forexample,inFebruary2011,immediatelyafterEleventhNationalCongressof theVCP,inagesturetoshowdeferencetoChina,thenewSecretaryGeneral,NguyenPhu Trong,dispatchedaspecialenvoy,HoangBinhQuan,toBeijing.QuanmetwithHuJintao, President and General Secretary of the CCP, and briefed him on the outcome of the Vietnamspartycongress.QuanalsoextendedaninvitationtoHuandotherChineseparty andstateleaderstovisitVietnam.Inreturn,HuextendedaninvitationtoSecretaryGeneral TrongtovisitChina.26IndeferencetoChina,andinlightofcontinuedChineseassertiveness in the South China Sea, VCP Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong made the first visit in October2011.Thetwopartiesleadersagreedtostepuppartytopartyties. Mostrecently,ToHuyRua,VCPPolitburomember,SecretaryoftheVCPCentralCommittee, andheadoftheCentralCommitteesOrganizationDepartmentpaidanofficialvisittoChina from February 1420, 2012 for discussions with his counterpart on personnel work, cadre trainingandplanning.TheyagreedtostepupcooperationbetweentheirpartyOrganisation Departments and share experience in human resource training to further strengthen the VietnamChinacomprehensivepartnership.27RuasvisitillustratestheeffortbyVietnamto prevent the South China Sea issues for spilling over and affecting bilateral relations generally. StatetoStaterelations.VietnamandChinaconductnormalstatetostaterelationsthrough their foreign ministries and regular highlevel exchanges at deputy minister and minister

26

Chinese president vows to further ties with Vietnam, Xinhua, 18 February 2011 and Chinas Hu Jintao invitesNguyenPhoTrong,VoiceofVietnamNews,19February2011.
27

Xinhua,China,Vietnamagreetofurthercooperation,PeoplesDaily,February15,2012

11

level. In 2006, in a major development, Vietnam and China set up a Joint Steering Committee on Bilateral Cooperation at deputy prime ministerial level to coordinate all aspects of their relationship. The Steering Committee now meets on an annual basis alternatingbetweencapitalcities.28 In December 2008, China and Vietnam agreed to commence bilateral discussions on maritimeissuesbetweentheirforeignministrieswithfirstprioritygiventodevelopingaset of fundamental guiding principles as a framework for settling specific issues. These confidentialdiscussionsbeganinearly2010andsevensessionswerehelduptoJuly2011. Duringthefirsthalfof2011Chineseparamilitaryshipswereinvolvedinatleasttwocable cutting incidents involving exploration vessels operating within Vietnams EEZ. After the incident, Vietnam dispatched deputy foreign minister Ho Xuan Son to Beijing as special envoyfordiscussionswithhiscounterpart.Accordingtoajointpressreleaseissuedon25 June:
Thetwosidesemphasizedthenecessitytoactivelyimplementthecommonperceptionsofthe twocountriesleaders,peacefullysolvingthetwocountriesdisputesatseathroughnegotiation and friendly consultation; employing effective measures and working together to maintain peaceandstabilityintheEastSea[sic]. They also laid stress on the need to steer public opinions along the correct direction, avoiding commentsanddeedsthatharmthefriendshipandtrustofthepeopleofthetwocountries. ThetwosidesagreedtospeedupthetempoofnegotiationssoastoearlysignanAgreement onbasicprinciplesguidingthesettlementofseaissuesbetweenVietnamandChina,andboost theimplementationoftheDeclarationonConductofPartiesintheEastSea(DOC)andfollowup activitiessothatsubstantialprogresswillsoonbeachieved.29

Vietnam and China then convened the eighth and final session of their governmentto government discussions on maritime issue. In October 2011, when VCP Secretary General andGeneralSecretaryHuJintaometinBeijing,theywitnessedthesigningtheAgreement on Fundamental Principles to Guide the Settlement of Sea Disputes. The agreement committedbothpartiestoseekmutuallyacceptablefundamentalandlastingsolutionsto searelated disputes. In the interim, the two sides shall actively discuss provisional and temporary measures without affecting each sides positions and policies, including the

28

ThefirstmeetingwasheldinNovember2006,thesecondinJanuary2008,thethirdinMarch2009andthe fourthinJuneJuly2010.
29

Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Viet NamChina joint press release, June 26, 2011.http://www.mofa.vn/en.

12

activeconsiderationanddiscussiononcooperationformutualdevelopment[hoptaccung phattrien]Thetwopartiesalsoagreedtospeedupnegotiationstodemarcatethewaters forming the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin and actively discuss cooperation for mutual development in these waters (emphasis added). The agreement also specified if the disputes involve other countries, the consultations shall include all other parties concerned.30 InSeptember2011,ChinaandVietnamheldthefifthannualmeetingoftheirJointSteering CommitteeinHanoi.ChinawasrepresentedbyStateCouncilorDaiBingguowhometwith hiscounterpartDeputyPrimeMinisterNguyenThienNhan. InDecember2011,VicePresidentXiJinpingmadeanofficialvisittoHanoiandmetwithall ofVietnamstoppartyandstateleaders.Xisvisitwasprimarilyagettoknowyouvisitas Xi is expected to replace Hu Jintao as both party leader and state president. Both sides stressed the importance of the comprehensive nature of their bilateral relationship and focused on such major issues as trade, educational and youth cooperation, and partyto party ties. As for the South China Sea, the two leaders reaffirmed past commitments to refrainfromtheuseofforce,respecteachothersinterestsandsettlethedisputethrough internationallaw. Thefirsthighlevelvisitin2012wasundertakenbyVietnamsnewForeignMinister,Pham BinhMinh,wholedanofficialdlegationtoBeijingfromFebruary1215.Minhmetwithhis counterpart,YangJiechi,andheldseparatemeetingswithZhouYongkang,amemberofthe StandingCommitteeofthePolitburooftheCCPCentralCommitteeandStareCounsellorDi Bingquo.31 The South China Sea was discussed. According to China Foreign Ministry spokesperson, China is ready to consider exploring solutions to the South China Sea disputeswithallrelevantpartiesunderreasonableconditions[emphasisadded].32 InSeptember2012,PresidentsTruongTanSangandHuJintaometonthesidelinesofthe 20thAPECSummitinVladivostok.Alsothatsamemonth,PrimeMinisterNguyenTanDung andVicePremierXiJinpingtooktheopportunityoftheirattendanceatthe9thASEANChina

30 31 32

Vietnam,Chinatalkborderrelatedissues,VietnamNewsAgency,April18,2011. Xinhua,SeniorOfficialExpectsStrongerChinaVietnamTies,February14,2012. ChengGuangjin,BettertiesholdkeytoSChinaSeadisputes,ChinaDaily,February14,2012

13

Expo and the ChinaASEAN BusinessInvestment Summit in Naning, Guangxi to meet. Xi stated,theChineseParty,Stateandpeopleattachgreatimportancetotherelationswith Vietnam and are ready together with Vietnam to deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership. Dung invited Xi to visit Vietnam after the conclusion of the 18th national congressoftheCCP. MilitarytoMilitary Dialogue. In 2005, China and Vietnam commenced annual bilateral defenceconsultations.Thesediscussionswereraisedtodeputyministerofdefencelevelin November2010. VietnamsDefenseMinisterGeneralPhungQuangThanhmadeanofficialvisittoChinain April2010.InOctober2010,theChinasDefenceMinisterGeneralMinisterLiangGuanglie attended the inaugural ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) meeting in Hanoi and held separate discussions with his counterpart. At the ADMM Plus, China and Vietnam agreed to cochair of the ADMM Plus Expert Working Group on Humanitarian AssistanceandDisasterRelief.ThePoliticalCommissaroftheVPANavy,TranThanhHuyen, visitedBeijinginNovember2010.33 Vietnam and China held their first Strategic Defence and Security Dialogue in Hanoi on November 27, 2010.34 Vietnam was represented by Deputy Defence Minister Lt. Gen. NguyenChiVinhwhohostedSeniorLt.Gen.MaXiaotian,PLADeputyChiefoftheGeneral Staff.Attheconclusionofthemeetingbothsidesagreedtoincreasecooperationbetween their navies and border guards, promote military science research and training. They also agreedtosetupahotlinebetweentheirrespectivedefenceministries.35 In April 2011, Vietnam receivedSenior LieutenantGeneral GuoBoxiong,ViceChairmanof Chinas Central Military Commission, who came at the invitation of Defence Minister GeneralThanh.GeneralGuosvisitwasprimarilyconcernedwithlongstandingjointpatrols between their respective navies. In April 2006, the navies of both countries commenced

33

China, Vietnam Need to Enhance Cooperation: Senior Chinese Military Officer, Xinhua, November 23, 2010.
34

ChinaVietnam boost defence cooperation. Voice of Vietnam News, November 28, 2010; Vietnamese party,armyseniorofficialsmeetwithChinesemilitarydelegation,Xinhua,November28,2010;andDefence officialsmeetindialoguewithChina,VietNamNews,November292010.
35

VietnamNewsAgency,ChinaVietnamboostdefencecooperation,VoiceofVietnamNews,November28, 2010.

14

jointpatrolsintheGulfofTonkinfollowingagreementsin2000todelimittheGulfofTonkin andjointfisheries.Atotalofthirteennavalpatrolshavebeenconductedbetweenthenand June 2012.36 The most recent joint patrols also included a Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) between China and Vietnam and antipiracy exercises. In November 2008, the PeoplesLiberationArmyNavy(PLAN)resumedgoodwillportcallstoVietnamafterahiatus of seventeen years. PLAN ships called in again in August 2009, December 2010 and April 2012.InJune2009,inanhistoricfirst,twoVietnamesenavalshipsmadeagoodwillvisitto Zhanjiang port, Guangdong province. Vietnamese ships made their second port call to ZhanjianginJune2011.37 ThefirsthighleveldefencemeetingtookplaceinJune2011onthesidelinesoftheShangri laDialoguejustafterthefirstMaycablecuttingincident.Itinvolvedaninformalmeetingof defenceministersPhungQuangThanhandLiangGuanglie.GeneralThanhpointedlyraised theincidentandGeneralLiangassuredhimtherewouldbenorepetition. On August 29, 2011, Vietnam and China held their 2nd Strategic Defence and Security Dialogueatviceministeriallevel.Thediscussionsreviewedrecentcooperativeactivitiesand agreed to step up military exchanges at various levels and establish a hot line between defenceministries.ChinaagreedtoshareitsexperiencesinUNpeacekeepingwithVietnam. Lt. Gen. Ma confirmed that the South China Sea was the most sensitive disagreement betweenthetwosides.WithreferencetotheJune25,2011pressrelease(seeabove),Lt. GenVinhdetailedVietnamsplanstocurbpublicprotestsinVietnamthatheclaimedwere aimed at undermining SinoVietnamese relations. Both sides agreed not to use force or threatentouseforcetosettletheirterritorialdisputes.38 China hosted a visit by General Ngo Xuan Lich, head of the VPAs General Political DepartmentandmemberoftheCentralMilitaryPartyCommittee,fromSeptember1419,

36

MargieMason,VietnamandChinaholdjointnavalpatrolamidspat,AssociatedPress,June21,2011and AgenceFrancePresse,China,VietnamholdjointseapatrolsneardisputedSpratlys,June23,2011.Chinaand Vietnamhavealsoconductedsevenjointfisherypatrolsbetween2007andApril2012


37

Vietnamese naval ships on friendly visit to China, Quan Doi Nhan Dan Online, June 22, 2011; China, VietnamengageinJointnavalpatrols,PeoplesDailyOnline,June22,2011andVietnamesenavalshipswrap upvisittoChina,QuanDoiNhanDanOnline,June27,2011.
38

PANO,ThesecondVietnamChinaStrategicDefenceandSecurityDialogueconcludedsuccessfully,August 28, 2011 reproduced by Consulate General of Vietnam, Sydney, Australia. www.vietnamconsulate sydney.org/en/news.AccessedFebruary21,2012.

15

2011.39GeneralLichhelddiscussionswithhiscounterpart,LiJinai,whoisalsoamemberof ChinasCentralMilitaryCommission.Theirmeetingfocusedondevelopingtiesbetweenthe twomilitaries.SignificantlyGeneralLichwasalsoreceivedbyVicePresidentXiJinping,the vicechairman ofthe CentralMilitaryCommission40and heirapparentto the post ofstate presidentontheretirementofHuJintaoin2013. Asdiscussedabove,theleadersoftheVCPandCCPmetinBeijinginOctober2011.Their JointStatementincludedaclauseondefencecooperation:
Fourthly,topromoteindepthcooperationbetweenthetwoarmies,increasecontactbetween highrankingarmyleadersofthetwocountries;continuetoorganisegoodstrategicdialoguesat deputy ministerial level; accelerate the establishment of a direct telephone line between the two defence ministries; increase cooperation in personnel training and exchanges between juniorofficers;conducttrialjointpatrolsalongthelandborderataconvenienttime;continueto holdjointnavalpatrolsintheGulfofTonkin;increasecooperationinsuchfieldsasmutualvisits bythetwocountriesnavalships.41

Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh accompanied his party leader to Beijing. General Thanh met with his counterpart, Senior Lt. General Liang Guanglie, to review bilateraldefencerelations.Theynotedthatsince2003thetwosidessignedfivedocuments that provided the legal basis for defence cooperation. They noted that relations between the PLA and VPA have become a pillar of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, and agreed that their two armies should exercise restraint and caution in speechandactiontoavoidescalatingthe[SouthChinaSea]issue InApril2012,SeniorLt.Gen.DoBaTy,DeputyMinisterofNationalDefenceandVPAChief ofStaff,ledahighleveldelegationtoChinaattheinvitationofSeniorLt.Gen.ChenBingde, PLA Chief of Staff, to discuss future defence cooperation activities. General Ty proposed opening direct communication between their two defence ministries and effectively using the existing direct line between their two navies. The two generals noted that bilateral defence relations have become a pillar of their comprehensive strategic partnership. General Ty was also received by Vice President Xi Jinping; both are members of their

39

DoancanbochinhtriquansucapcaonuoctathamTrungQuoc,VietnamTV,September18,2011and Zhous Feng, Chinese defence official holds talks with Vietnamese counterpart, PLA Daily, September 16, 2011.
40

PhochutichTrungQuoctiepdoanquansucapcaoVietNam,ThanhNienOnline,September18,2011; Chinese vice president eyes enhanced relations with Vietnam, Xinhua, Beijing, September 16, 2011 and China,VietnampledgetoenhancetiesamidrowinSChinasea,PressTrustofIndia,September17,2011.
41

TuyenbochunghainuocVietNamvaTrungQuoc,VietnamNewsAgency,October15,2011,point4(iv).

16

countrysrespectiveCentralMilitaryCommissions.Finally,GeneralTyvisitedtheShanghai NavalBase(EastSeaFleet)andShanghaiGarrison. The third VietnamChina strategic defence dialogue took place in Hanoi on September 3, 2012underthecochairmanshipofVietnameseDeputyMinisterofNationalDefenceSenior Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh and Chinese Senior Lt. Gen. Ma Xiaotian. According to a Vietnamesemediareport:
Duringthedialogue,bothsidesdiscussedregionalandglobalissuesthataffecttheirrespective countries national security and defence, as well as plots by hostile forces that threaten their revolutionarycauses. They also discussed measures to boost mutual understanding and promote defence ties to reaffirmthefinetraditionalrelationshipbetweenVietnamandChina,despitethedisputeinthe East Sea, and dispel distorted arguments that threaten the relationship between the two countries.42

Theexchangeofparty,stateandmilitarydelegationsweredesignedbyVietnamtoshowa respectful and deferential attitude to China. The exchange of delegations also served to compartmentalise the South China Sea dispute and prevent it from spilling over and negativelyaffectingthebroadbasedbilateralrelationship.Morespecifically,Vietnamused theseexchangetocontinuallyseekreassurancefromChinathatneitherforcenorthethreat offorcewouldbeusedtosettleterritorialdisputesintheSouthChinaSea.

Defiance/Struggle
Vietnam and China confront an intractable dispute in the South China Sea over both sovereigntyclaimstoislandsandrocksandsovereignjurisdictionovermaritimeresources. Their dispute not only includes the features generally thought to comprise the Spratly Islands but the Paracel Islands as well. This is strictly a bilateral matter between China/TaiwanandVietnam. Since 2007, China has become more assertive in advancing its claims. China has applied pressureonforeignoilcompaniestostopassistingVietnaminthedevelopmentofoffshore oil and gas deposits. China has also been assertive in imposing its annual fishing ban in watersnorthoftwelvedegreesnorthlatitude.In2010,Chineseparamilitaryshipstwicecut

42

VoiceofVietnamNews,September3,2012.

17

thecablesofforeignshipsconductingseismicsurveyswithinVietnamsExclusiveEconomic Zone. Vietnam responded to Chinese assertiveness with calculated acts of defiance/struggle. These may be grouped into five categories: routine diplomatic protests, internationalizing thedisputethroughmultilateralforums,publicreaffirmationsofsovereignty,defenceself helpmodernization,andcalibrateddefenceinteractionwiththeUnitedStates. Routine Diplomatic Protests. The spokesperson for Vietnams Ministry of Foreign Affairs consistentlyissuespublicprotestsagainstanyandallactsbyChinaintheSouthChinaSeato assertitssovereigntyclaims.In2012,forexample,VietnamprotestedChinasimpositionof its unilateral fishing ban from May 16August 1,43 Chinas promotion of tourism to the Paracelislands,44andChinaNationalOffshoreOilCorporations(CNOOC)openingnineteen oilexplorationblocksneartheParacelsforbidding. Vietnams Ministry of Foreign Affairs routinely lodges formal diplomatic protests with the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi in particularly serious matters. For example, Vietnam lodged a formal protest over an incident on February 22 when, it is alleged, a China Marine Surveillance (CMS) vessel attempted to board and rob a Vietnamese fishing boat seeking shelterfromastormneartheParaelIslands.CrewfromtheCMSvesselreportedlyfiredon anddamagedtheVietnameseboat.Vietnamsprotestnotedemandedcompensationanda halt to Chinese harassment. Vietnam also lodged a formal diplomatic protest over an incident near the Paracel Islands on March 3, 2012 involving the detention of twentyone Vietnamese fishermen, the confiscation of their two boats, and the imposition of fine of 70,000yuan(US$11,000).45 Internationalization of the Dispute. In 2010, when Vietnam served as ASEAN Chair, it activelylobbiedtheinternationalcommunitytointernationaliseitsSouthChinaSeadispute

43

DeutschePressAgentur,ChinesefishingbanstokesprotestfromVietnamamidseadispute,January20, 2012.
44

UCA News, China, Vietnam In Sovereignty Spat In South China Sea, Eurasia Review, March 16, 2012; He Dan,Xishatourismtobedeveloped,ChinaDaily,March102012andVietnamcondemnsChinafortourism activityonarchipelago,ThanhNienNews,November25,2011.
45

Xinhua,ChinadeniesshootingatVietnameseboat,February27,2012;VietnamblastsChinaforassault onfishermen,TuoiTre,March1,2012;JeremyPage,BeijinginFreshSeaRowWithHanoi,TheWallStreet Journal, March 1, 2012; Associated Press, Vietnam protests to China over alleged assault on fishermen in disputed waters, The Washington Post, March 1, 2012; and Reuters, China justifies expulsion of illegal Vietnamfishermen,March1,2012;

18

with China. In particular, Vietnam succeeded in having the South China Sea raised at the ASEANRegionalForummeetinginJulyandattheinauguralmeetingoftheASEANDefence MinistersMeetingPlus(ADMMPlus)inOctober.VietnamhasconsistentlyraisedtheSouth ChinaSeaissueatASEANministerialmeetingsandin2011raisedtheissueattheEastAsia Summit. Forexample,VietnamhostedtheinauguralmeetingoftheADMMPlusinOctober2010.The meetingwasattendedbyeighteendefenceministers,tenfromtheASEANstatesandtheir eight dialogue partners: Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russian Federation and the United States.46 Prior to the ADMM Plus meeting, ASEAN Defence MinistersreachedconsensusthatissuesrelatedtotheSouthChinaSeawouldnotbepartof theformalagendaandthatnoreferencetotheSouthChinaSeawouldbeincludedinthe final joint declaration.47 But no restrictions or preconditions were put on the eight non ASEANministers. Seven participants, including the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, SingaporeandVietnam,raisedconcernsaboutterritorialdisputesintheSouthChinaSea.48 Predictably the final Joint Statement omitted any reference to the South China Sea. But VietnamuseditsroleasChairtoissueafinalstatementthatdeclared:
Themeetingnotedthatthememberstatesareinterestedinmaritimesecuritycooperationand agreed that the collective efforts are required to address the challenges of piracy, human trafficking and disasters at sea. Some delegates touched upon traditional security challenges, such as disputes in the East Sea [sic]. The meeting welcomed efforts by concerned parties to address the issue by peaceful means in conformity with the spirit of the Declaration on the ConductofPartiesintheEastSea(DOC)of2002[sic]andrecognizedprinciplesofinternational law,includingtheUnitedNationsConventionontheLawoftheSea(UNCLOS1982).49
46

The Defence Minister from Russia did not attend; Russia was represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff (Valery Gerasiov). The US delegation was the largest with thirtyfive officials out of fifty delegates in attendance.Chinawithheldthetitlesandareasofresponsibilityofitsdelegationbutanalystswhopouredover theirnameswerequicktospotthatallwereimportantexpertsinvolvedinSouthChinaSeaaffairs.
47

Kazuto Tsukamoto, Yusuke Murayama and Kenji Minemura, At key meet, Beijing tones down stance on SouthChinaSea,TheAsahiShibun,October14,2010.
48

Kazuto Tsukamoto, Yusuke Murayama and Kenji Minemura, At key meet, Beijing tones down stance on South China Sea, The Asahi Shibun, October 14, 2010 and Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh quoted in Deutsche PresseAgentur,DefencemeetinginHanoicalmsSouthChinaSeaDisputes,October12,2010.Somereports claimseightministersspokeontheSouthChinaSea.
49

FulltextofASEANofficialstatement:FirstADMM+ChairmansStatement,VietnamNewsAgencywebsite, Hanoi,inEnglish,October13,2010.

19

Public Reaffirmations of Sovereignty. On June 9, 2011, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung respondedtogrowingdomesticpressurebymakinganunusuallyrobustpublicstatementin defenceofnationalsovereigntyintheSouthChinaSea.Dungsaid:Wecontinuetoaffirm stronglyandtomanifestthestrongestdeterminationofalltheParty,ofallthepeopleand of all the army in protecting Vietnamese sovereignty in maritime zones of the country. DungalsoreaffirmedVietnamsincontestablemaritimesovereigntyovertheParaceland Spratlyarchipelagos.50Onthesameday,PresidentNguyenMinhTriet,visitingCoToisland off Quang Ninh province near the China border, stated that we are ready to sacrifice everythingtoprotectourhomeland,ourseaandislandsovereignty.51 Vietnamhasalwaysbeenextremelycircumspectinitspubliccommentaryonrelationswith China. The public statements by Prime Minister Dung and President Triet were virtually unheard of. But no act of defiance/struggle was more calculated than Vietnams unprecedentedpublicannouncementthatitwouldconductlivefirenavalexercisesonJune 13,2011inthewatersnearHonOngIsland.52HonOngIslandislocatedapproximatelyforty kilometresoffQuangNamprovinceincentralVietnamroughlyoppositetheParacelIslands andremovedfromthetwocablecuttingincidents.Thefirstphaseoftheexerciseinvolved coastalartillery,whilethesecondpartoftheexerciseinvolvedmissilecorvettesfiringtheir deckguns.Reportedly,antishipmissileswerealsofiredfromSukhoijetaircraft.53 Vietnams Foreign Ministry characterized these exercises as a routine annual training activityoftheVietnamnavy.54Whatevertheglossbygovernmentofficials,Vietnamslive fire exercises were undoubtedly conducted to signal Vietnams resolve to defend its sovereigntyagainstfurtherChineseinterference.Thelivefiringexerciseswerealsowidely viewedbydiplomaticobserversasaresponsetoChinasconductofamassivenavalexercise inthenorthernreachesoftheSouthChinaSeaearlierthatmonth.

50 51 52

AgenceFrancePresse,VietnamPMsaysseasovereigntyincontestable,June9,2011. DeutchePresseAgentur,VietnamstopleadersaddfiretoSouthChinaSeadispute,June9,2011.

BaoDamAnToanHangHaiMienBac[NorthernMaritimeSafetyCorporation],Veviecbandanthattren vungbienQuangNam,So107/TBHHCT.BDATHHMB,June9,2011,http://www.vmsnorth.vn.
53 54

ReportedbyaconfidentialVietnamesemilitarysourcetotheauthor. MargieMason,VietnamplanslivefiredrillafterChinadispute,AssociatedPress,June10,2011.

20

On the same day that the livefiring exercises were announced, Prime Minister Dung underscoredtheseriousnessofVietnamsresolvebyissuingadecreeonemergencymilitary servicethatincludedprovisionsfortheconscriptionofpersonswithspecialskillsneededby themilitary.55Thedecreeservedtwopurposes:itassuagedgrowingdomesticpressureon the government to stiffen its response to China, and it was another demonstration of resolve in response to Chinese assertiveness.56 On June 15, 2012, in another calculated demonstrationofresolve,twoVietnameseairforceSu27jetfightersconductedatwohour patrol over the Spratly Islands. Vietnamese military sources stated that the patrols were routineandwouldcontinue.57 OnJune21,2012,VietnamsNationalAssemblyformallyadoptedtheLawoftheSeaofViet Nam(LuatBienVietNam),assertingsovereigntyandsovereignjurisdictionoverVietnams territorial sea, contiguous zone, EEZ, continental shelf, islands, the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos and other archipelagos under the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdictionofVietNam.58 VietnamsLawoftheSeahadbeenunderconsiderationforseveralyears.59Itwasduetobe adoptedin2011asanassertionofVietnamslegalclaimsunderinternationallawatatime ofrisingtensionsintheSouthChinaSea.Thelawwaswithheldsoasnottounderminethe visitofpartySecretaryGeneralNguyenPhuTrongtoChinainOctober,andthereturnvisit toVietnambyVicePremierXiJinpinginDecember. AccordingtoVietnamesesources,ChineseEmbassyofficialswereawarethatVietnamwas drafting the Law on the Sea and made representations urging Vietnam not to proceed. ChineseofficialsweredulyinformedthatVietnamintendedtoproceedanditcameasno

55

AgenceFrancePresse,Vietnamsignsmilitaryorderamidtensions,June15,2011.TheDecreealsolisted eightcategoriesofexemptions.
56 57 58

BBCNewsAsiaPacific,VietnambolstersmilitarystanceamidChinamarinerow,June14,2011. ThanhNien,June17,2012.

Luat Bien Viet Nam, Article 1. The official text in Vietnamese and an unofficial translation prepared by VietnamsMinistryofForeignAffairsmaybefoundat:CarlyleA.Thayer,VietNamLawoftheSea,Thayer Consultancy Background Brief, August 5, 2012. http://www.scribd.com/doc/101998223/ThayerVietnams LawontheSea.ThelawwilltakeeffectfromJanuary1,2013.
59

It should be noted that in December 2009 the Standing Committee of Chinas National Peoples Congress passed a Law on Sea Island Protection to protect the marine ecosystem and promote sustainable development.ThislawentrenchedChinassovereigntyclaimsandstrengthenedtheroleoftheStateOceanic Administrationinmonitoringcompliance.

21

surprisewhenVietnamsNationalAssemblyadoptedthelaw.ChinasViceForeignMinister ZhangZhijunimmediatelysummonedVietnamsAmbassadorinBeijing,NguyenVanTho,to lodgeastrongprotest.60Onthesameday,CNOOCissuedbidsforoilexplorationinblocsall locatedtotheseawardsideofitsninedashlinebutalsoentirelywithinVietnamsEEZ. DefenceSelfHelpandModernization.IncontrasttothePhilippines,Vietnamhasembarked on a more robust program of modernizing its armed forces. Vietnam has given priority to the modernisation of its navy and the development of a modest antiaccess/area denial deterrent capability. For example, in 2009, Vietnam announced it would procure six conventional diesel powered Kiloclass submarines from Russia. The submarines are expectedtobeequippedwithseaskimming3M54Klubantishipmissileswitharangeof 300kilometres.61 In2011,VietnamtookdeliveryoffourSu30MK2multirolejetfightersthatareexpectedto be equipped with the Kh59MK antiship cruise missile with a range of 115 km. Vietnam currentlyhasonordersixteenmoreSu30MK2jetfighters.62Vietnamalsotookdeliveryof twoGephardclassguidedmissilestealthfrigatesarmedwithKh35Eantishipmissileswith a range of 130 km and two Svetlyak class missile Patrol Boats.63 Vietnam also officially launcheditsfirstindigenouslybuiltOffshorePatrolVessel.64InOctober,whileonatourof the Netherlands, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung reportedly gave his approval for the purchase of four Sigmaclass corvettes, two of which are slated for construction in Vietnam.65 VietnamhasbeefedupitlandbasedcoastaldefencesbyacquiringitssecondBastionland basedantishipballisticmissilesystemandExtendedRangeArtilleryMunitionsaballistic missileeffectivebeyond150kmfromIsrael.InOctober2011,duringPresidentTruongTan

60

JanePerlez,VietnamLawonContestedIslandsCrawsChinasIre,TheNewYorkTimes,June21,2012and Reuters,ChinasaysVietnamclaimstoislandsnullandvoid,June21,2012.
61

RobertKarniol,VietnampreparestobetterprotectitsS.ChinaSeaclaims,TheStraitsTimes,reprintedin TheChinaPost,January10,2012.
62 63

RussiatosupplyVietnamsixsubmarinesin2014,ThanhNienNews,July3,2011.

RussiaexportsaircrafttoVietnam,TheVoiceofRussia,June22,2011;BBC,HaiquanVietNamnhantau chienNga,August24,2011;RussiadeliverssecondcoastalmissilesystemtoVietnam,InterfaxAVNmilitary newsagency,October11,2011;andBBC,NgagiaotiephaitautuantrachoVN,October25,2011.


64 65

BBC,VietNamtudongtauchien,October3,2011. BBC,VNdamphanmua4tauchiencuaHaLan,October18,2011.

22

SangsvisittoNewDelhi,thelocalmediareportedthatIndiawaspreparedtosellVietnam itsBrahMossupersoniccruisemissile.66PresidentSangrequestedIndianassistanceinfour areas: submarine training, conversion training for pilots to fly Sukhoi30s, transfer of mediumsizedpatrolboats,andmodernizationofportfacilitiesatNhaTrang.67 Calibrated Defence Interaction with the United States. In 2003, Vietnam and the United Statesagreedtoexchangeofficialvisitsbytheirdefenceministersatthreeyearlyintervals. VietnamalsogavepermissionfortheU.S.Navytomakeonegoodwillportvisitannually.In 2010 Vietnam and the United States began to conduct naval exchange activities as an adjunct to the annual ship visits. Naval activities do not involve the exchange of combat skills. In 2004, the United States and Vietnam began conducting an annual defence that has evolvedovertime.In2008,forexample,thedialoguewasraisedtoaPolitical,Securityand Defense dialogue involving officials from their respective foreign affairs and defense ministries.The5thU.S.VietnamPolitical,Security,andDefenseDialoguewasheldinHanoi on June 20, 2012. In August 2010, the USVietnam defense dialogue was upgraded to a Defense Policy Dialogue between officials at deputy minister level. The first meeting was held in Hanoi. Vietnam was represented by Deputy Minister of National Defence Lt. Gen. NguyenChiVinhandtheU.S.wasrepresentedbyRobertScher,DeputyAssistantSecretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia. The two sides agreed to cooperate in military exchangesandtrainingandcollaborationinsearchandrescueandhumanitarianassistance anddisasterrelief.68 In 2009, Vietnamese defence officials began making highpublicity fly outs to U.S. aircraft carrierstransitingtheSouthChinaSeaoffVietnamseasternseaboard.Thefirsttookplace in April 2009 when Vietnamese officials landed on the USS John D. Stennis. This was followed by flyouts to the USS George Washington in August 2010 and October 2012. In addition, in December 2009 Vietnams Defence Minister stopped off in Hawii enroute to Washington, D.C. He was photographed peering through the periscope of the USS Florida

66

IndiatosellBrahMosmissiletoVietnam,TheAsianAge,September20,2011andRobertJohnson,Indiais PreparingToSellBahMosSupersonicCruiseMissilestoVietnam,BusinessInsider,September20,2011.
67 68

SandeepDikshit,VietnamspleaputSouthBlockinapredicament,TheHindu,November9,2011.

InAugust2011,theUnitedStatesandVietnamsignedtheirfirstbilateraldefenceagreement,aStatementof Intenttocooperateinhealth,andaprecursorforexchangesandresearchcollaborationinmilitarymedicine.

23

(SSGN),anuclearattacksubmarine.InAugust2010,Vietnamesediplomaticofficialsvisited thenewestU.S.aircraftcarrier,theUSSGeorgeH.W.BushatNorfolk,tomarkthefifteenth anniversaryofdiplomaticrelations.ThisvisitcoincidedwiththeflyouttotheUSS George Washington,halfaworldaway. In 2009, Vietnams Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung dramatically announced that the commercialrepairfacilitiesatCamRanhBaywouldbeopentoallnaviesoftheworld.The U.S. was the first country to take up the offer. The following year the United States and Vietnam signed a contract for the minor maintenance and repair of U.S. Navy Maritime Sealift Command ships. Five ships were subsequently repaired: the USNS Richard E. Byrd underwentvoyagerepairsinFebruaryMarch2010,August2011,andJune2012;theUSNS WalterS.DiehlinOctober2011andtheUSNSRappahannockinFebruary2012.Thethree mostrecentrepairswerecarriedoutatcommercialfacilitiesinCamRanhBay. The2ndDefensePolicyDialoguewasheldinWashingtononSeptember19,2011.Thetwo cochairs signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on defence cooperation that included five priority areas: regular highlevel dialogues between defense ministries; maritime security; search and rescue; studying and exchanging experiences on United Nationspeacekeeping;andhumanitarianassistanceanddisasterrelief. In June 2012, Vietnam hosted Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Prior to his arrival in Hanoi, Secretary Panetta unexpectedly and symbolically stopped in Cam Ranh Bay to meetwiththecrewoftheUSNSRichardE.Byrdundergoingminorvoyagerepairs.Panettas visitledtospeculationthattheUnitedStatesNavymightreturntoCamRanh. The meeting between the two defence ministers focused on the implementation of the 2010 MOU. Vietnams National Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh flagged future cooperation in addressing nontraditional security issues such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and search and rescue. He also noted a longstanding Vietnamese concern to elicit further support from the U.S. to address legacies from the Vietnam War (eg. Agent Orange and unexploded ordnance disposal). He also repeated a requestthathefirstmadeduringhisDecember2009visittoWashingtonfortheU.S.tolift itsrestrictionsonmilitarysalestoVietnam

24

Singapore
Singapore and the United States have forged a robust strategic partnership. Singapore supports the U.S. defence strategy of rebalancing and has agreed to host Littoral Combat Ships. Singapore is not a party principal to the South China Sea dispute but has huge national interests at stake in ensuring that the sea lanes that pass through the Straits of MalaccaandSingaporetotheSouthChinaSearemainsecureandfreefromarmedconflict. SingaporehasbeengenerallycircumspectinitspublicdiplomacyregardingtheSouthChina Sea.ButanincidentinJune2011sorelytestedSingaporespatience.Theincidentoccurred whenChinasnewestandlargestCMSpatrolship,theHaixun31,wasenroutetoSingapore to make a scheduled goodwill port call. During Haixun 31s voyage the Chinese media reportedthatitwouldmonitorshippinganchoredoroperatinginwatersclaimedbyChina, as well as carry out surveying, inspect oil wells, and protect maritime security. In a rare public comment, Singapores Foreign Ministry stated, We have repeatedly said that we think it is in Chinas own interests to clarify its claims in the South China Sea with more precision as the current ambiguity as to their extent has caused serious concerns in the internationalmaritimecommunity.69 AninsightintoSingaporesofficialperspectivewasrevealedinleakednotesofdiscussionsat the45thASEANMinistersMeetingRetreatin2012.70WhentheagendaitemontheSouth China Sea came up, Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam opened his remarks by noting that Singapore was not a claimant state and that specific claims could only be resolved by the partiesdirectlyconcerned.ShanmugamnotedthatSingaporehadaninterestinseeingthat theSouthChinaSeamustbesharedbyallstates,claimantandnonclaimantanditwasin thecommoninteresttothemaintainpeaceandstabilityintheregion. Shanmugamassertedthatfreedomofnavigation[is]veryimportanttoallofus.Freedom ofnavigationcannotberespectediftheruleoflawisnotobserved.Henotedthat"recent developments [Scarborough Shoal and Chinas actions in awarding oil concessions in Vietnams EEZ] were of special concern" because they invoke novel interpretations of

69 70

Reuters,SingaporeasksChinatoclarifyclaimsonS.ChinaSea,June20,2011.

SummaryofCambodiaChairsinterventionattheAMMRetreat,9July2012,summarizedinThayer, "ASEANSCodeofConductintheSouthChinaSea:ALitmusTestforCommunityBuilding?."

25

internationallawthatcouldunderminetheentireUNCLOSregimeandcreateuncertainty overthefutureofUNCLOS. ShanmugamstatedthatSingaporewelcomedtheinternalagreementofASEANonpossible elements of [the] COC and suggested empowering the ASEAN Senior Officials to begin discussions with China. These discussions should proceed in parallel with the implementationoftheDOC.HealsonotedthatnegotiationsontheCOCwouldnotbeeasy but it was important ASEAN begin a dialogue with China. Shanmugam concluded by asserting,"itisimportantthatASEANhasaclearexpressionofourconcernsontheSouth China Sea in the joint communiqu, and it would be damaging to us if we don't say anything. If ASEAN is not united, our negotiations with China will be more difficult and protracted.

Indonesia
IndonesiaisalsonotapartyprincipaltotheSouthChinaSeadisputes.Indonesiahasplayed averyconstructiveroleinattemptingtoforgeASEANunitybehindadiplomaticsolutionto territorial disputes in the South China Sea. In 2011, Indonesia was chair of ASEAN when ASEANandChinafinallyadoptedtheGuidelinestoImplementtheDOC.Indonesiausedits positionasASEANChairtoidentifyandimplementspecificcooperativeactivitiesunderthe Guidelines At the 45th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting Retreat, Indonesia actively pushed for a consensus position on the South China Sea so that ASEAN could issue its customary joint communiqu.71 When the AMM Retreat met, ASEAN Foreign Ministers had already approvedtheessentialelementsoftheirdraftCodeofConduct.AttheAMMRetreat,during discussionsontheSouthChinaSea,IndonesiasForeignMinisterMartyNatalegawaargued we must have [an] ASEAN outlook on the matter. It is selfevident whenever ASEAN speakswithonevoiceweareabletomaintainourcentrality[and]ensurethatwedeliver results. Marty further noted that while the diplomatic process of implementing the DOC wasunderway,thesituationonthegroundatseaisshowingsignsofconcernforallofus. We have been following what has been transpiring. All those developments reinforce the

71

SummaryofCambodiaChairsinterventionattheAMMRetreat,9July2012,summarizedinThayer, "ASEANSCodeofConductintheSouthChinaSea:ALitmusTestforCommunityBuilding?."

26

needtogettheCOCconcludedassoonaspossible.IfthereisnoprogressontheCOCthe situation[will]becomemoredestabilizing.[Thisis]notinourcommoninterest. During discussions following ministerial presentations on the agenda item on the South ChinaSea,IndonesiawasoneoffivecountriesthatcontinuallytookissuewiththeASEAN Chair,CambodiasHorNamhong.MartyarguedthatASEANsproposedkeyelementsonthe COC were well crafted and well thought through. He asked rhetorically to what extent wouldtheCOCguideASEANwhenitfacedthesituationwithChinaoverScarboroughShoal? Heconcluded:WewanttobesurethattheCOCisoperationalinnature,andnotsimply repeat statements and principles that are available in the DOC. [The] COC must be prescriptive, [provide] rule[s] to avoid incidents in the South China Sea, and provide [the] means whereby the conduct of countries can be better regulated Marty promised that Indonesiawillcirculateanonpaper[on]possibleandadditionalelementsof[the]COC.Itis meanttobemoreprescriptiveandoperational. As a result of the recriminations at the 45th AMM over the wording of the joint communiqu, Indonesias Foreign Minister initiated consultations with the nine other members of ASEAN in an effort to restore unity in ASEAN ranks and commit ASEAN to a common position.72 Marty conducted an intense round of shuttle diplomacy flying to five capitols(Manila,Hanoi,Bangkok,PhnomPenhandSingapore)overatwodayperiod(July 1819). Marty stopped first in Manila where he and del Rosario agreed to a sixpoint proposal. Marty then put these six points to his other ASEAN counterparts. When he obtained their agreement Marty left it to Cambodias Hor Namhong, as ASEAN Chair, to completethediplomaticformalities.73 Indonesia has since completed work on a draft ASEAN Code of Conduct (dubbed zero draft) and circulated this document to ASEAN foreign ministers meeting at the United Nations in early October.74 The Indonesian draft COC was tabled for discussion by ASEAN

72

CarlyleA.Thayer,ASEANUnityRestoredbyShuttleDiplomacy?ThayerConsultancyBackgroundBrief,July 24,2012,http://www.scribd.com/doc/101075293/ThayerASEANUnityRestoredbyShuttleDiplomacy.
73

StatementofASEANForeignMinistersonASEAN'sSixPointPrinciplesontheSouthChinaSea,July20,2012. CambodiasForeignMinistercouldnotresistusingthisoccasionstolaytheblameforASEAN'sfailuretoissuea jointcommuniquonVietnamandthePhilippines.


74

SiametSusanto,SingaporesupportsRIsdrafttosettleS.ChinaSeadispute,TheJakartaPost,October25, 2012.

27

and Chinese officials a preliminary meeting in Thailand in late October. The draft is now expected to be considered at formal senior level discussions to be held in Cambodia in NovemberpriortotheASEANSummit(November1720).

Malaysia
Malaysia is a claimant to features in the South China Sea. Unlike the Philippines and Vietnam,ithasstudiouslykeptalowprofileonSouthChinaSeaissuesandconsequentlyits relations with China have been without public recriminations. Malaysias policy is one of showingdeferencetoChinapubliclywhileprivatelysupportingaunifiedASEANapproachto South China Sea territorial disputes. Malaysian officials are concerned that Chinas nine dashlinescutsintoitsEEZandactiveoilproductionareasoffthecoastofeasternMalaysia. Malaysia and China appear to have worked out an arrangement whereby they agree to disagree. For example, on the eve of an official visit to China in June 2009 by Malaysias Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak, Chinas Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyou downplayed territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Hu stated, The South China Sea problem is an old one. I think that when the leaders of both nations meet they wont deliberatelytrytoavoidit,butaswebothunderstandeachothersstance,thiswontbea majorissue.75 InApril2011,DeputyPrimeMinisterTanSriMuhyiddinYassinwenttoChinatopreparefor thereturnvisitofPremierWenJiabao.WhenMuhyiddinmetwithVicePremierLiKeqiang, LireiteratedChinaslongstandingpolicyofresolvingterritorialdisputesintheSouthChina Seaonabilateralbasis.MuhyiddinagreedandofferedtorelayChinasrequestforbilateral talkstootherASEANmembersparticularlytheclaimantstates.76 OnreturntoMalaysiaMuhyiddinannouncedthatoverlappingclaimstotheSouthChinaSea would be discussed between Prime Minister Najib and Premier Wen. According to Muhyiddin, Malaysia is of the opinion that discussions with China on the issue of overlapping claims should be carried out after officials have come up with a basic frameworkontheclaimsbasedonfacts,lawandhistory.Hefurtherstated,Webelieve negotiationsamongtheASEANclaimantsareimportant.Buttherewillbeacasewherethe

75 76

Reuters,Chinaeyesenergy,bankdealswithMalaysia,Indonesia,April21,2011. Bernama,TalkstorevolveclaimsoverSpratlys,NewStraitsTimes,April19,2011.

28

overlapping claims involve three countries, so discussions will have to be more that bilateral.77 Malaysias Prime Minister Najib and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi bothspokeattheShangriLaDialogueinJune2011.PrimeMinisterNajibgavetheopening keynote address in which he affirmed, I remain fully committed to the common ASEAN position in terms of our engagement with China on the South China Sea, I am equally determinedtoensureourbilateralrelationship[withChina]remainsunaffectedand,infact, continuestogofromstrengthtostrength.78DefenceMinisterHamidiarguedthatthe2002 DOC needed to be supported by actual activities that can promote confidence building amongtheclaimantsandsuggestedthatclaimantcountriesintheSouthChinaSeawork towardsidentifyingandrealizingactualconfidencebuilding(CBM)activitiesthatwouldhelp alleviatesomeofthetensioninthearea.79 Perhaps the most insightful account of Malaysias policy on the South China Sea was containedinabackgroundbriefinggivenbyaseniorU.S.officialaftertheEastAsiaSummit inNovember2011.Accordingtothisofficial:
Ithink,frankly,thebestsinglepresentation,withtheexceptionofPresidentObama,wasbythe MalaysianPrimeMinisterNajibwhobeganbynotingthatthehadhadthesamepresentationof principlesinhisinterventionataninformalASEANleadersretreatanddescribednearconsensus among the ASEANs. And he was speaking he made a similar comment in the ASEANU.S. meetingthedaybefore. AndhewentthroughprinciplesthatareverysimilartowhattheU.S.hasalsoarticulatedwith respecttotheneedtoresolvetheissuepeacefullythroughdialogue,theneedtomakeprogress onacodeofconduct,theprincipleofrespectforinternationallaw,theapplicabilityofUNCLOS, the need for a multilateral process to resolve these territorial disputes among parties, and adherencebyalltotheguidingprinciples.80

A further insight into Malaysian perspectives on how to handle relations with China over disputesintheSouthChinaSeawereremarksbyMalaysiasForeignMinisterAnifahAman

77 78

NajibandChinesePremiertodiscussterritorialclaims,TheStarOnline,April26,2011.
th

Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak, Keynote Address, The 10 IISS Asian Security Summit The ShangriLa Dialogue, June3,2011.
79

Bernama, Comprehensive efforts needed to ensure regional maritime security, The Star Online, June 5, 2001.
80

BackgroundBriefingbyaSeniorAdministrationOfficialonthePresidentsMeetingsatAseanandEastAsia Summit,AboardAirForceOneEnRouteAndersonAirForceBase,Guam,TheWhiteHouse,Washington,D.C., November19,2011.

29

atthe45thAMMRetreat.81WhentheagendaitemontheSouthChinaSeacameup,Anifah Aman spoke to two issues, the DOC and the COC. With respect to the former he noted, ASEAN and China should continue close consultation and coordination through existing mechanisms [to] fully implement [the] DOC. He proposed that ASEAN should consider fully utilizing the ASEANChina Maritime Cooperation Fund82 [and] look[ed] forward to seeingthedetailsofthefundfromChina. WithrespecttotheCOC,AnifahAmannotedthatASEANhadconcludedadraftofthekey elementsoftheCOCandthiswouldcontributetobuild[ing]mutualtrustandconfidence towardspeaceandstability.Asweembarkon[the]intergovernmentalprocesson[the]COC [ASEANandChina]shouldfirstdiscussthe[key]elementsbeforediscussingthetextofthe COC[becauseitwas]morepracticaltodosobeforetheactualdraftingbegins. Anifah Aman then turned to a proposal by China, put to the ASEAN Summit earlier in the year by Cambodia as ASEAN Chair, to establish an Eminent Persons and Expert Working Group. We should not prevent [the ASEANChina] SOM [Senior Officials Meeting] from seeking inputs from experts as the need arise on certain technical and legal matters.83 Malaysias Foreign Minister then argued that ASEAN should reiterate its position that the COC aim[s] to create [a] rules based framework; it should not serve as an instrument to resolve territorial disputes. Existing disputes should be resolved between [the] parties concernedbasedonexistingmechanism[s],includingUNCLOS. WhentheAMMRetreatdiscussedthewordingofthecontroversialparagraphontheSouth China Sea summarising discussion at the AMM, Anifah Aman supported Indonesias position."Wemusttalkwithasinglevoice,hesaid,ASEANmustshow[its]unitedvoice; [otherwise]ourcredibilitywillbeundermined.WemustrefertothesituationintheSouth

81

SummaryofCambodiaChairsinterventionattheAMMRetreat,9July2012,summarizedinThayer, "ASEANSCodeofConductintheSouthChinaSea:ALitmusTestforCommunityBuilding?."
82

China announced a three billion yuan (US $476 million) Maritime Cooperation Fund at the 2011 East Asia SummittofinancecooperativeactivitiesundertheDOC.
83

This is a reference to Chinas proposal to form an Eminent Persons and Experts Working Group (EPEWG) comprisedoftenmembers,fivefromChinaandfivefromASEAN,todiscussthedraftCOC.Chinalateragreed toafifteenmemberEPEG,tenfromASEANandfivefromChina.ASEANreportedlyinsistedthattheEPEWG shouldbeformedonlyafternegotiationsontheCOChadcommenced.See:DonEmmerson,ASEANStumbles inPhnomPenh,AsiaTimesOnline,July17,2012ExtractswerepublishedinEmmerson,ASEANStumblesin Phnom Penh, PacNet #45, July 19, 2012 and ASEAN Stumbles in Phnom Penh, East Asia Forum, July 23, 2012.

30

ChinaSea,particularlyanyactsthatcontravenetheinternationallawonEEZandcontinental shelves.Itistotallyunacceptablethatwecan'thaveitinthejointcommuniqu."

Thailand
ThailandisnotapartyprincipaltotheSouthChinaSeadispute.Itsstanceonthisissuehas been one of accommodation and deference to China. For example, the South China Sea issuewasdiscussedatthe2ndUSASEANLeadersMeetingheldinNewYorkinSeptember 2010. The United States prepared a draft joint communiqu that reportedly stated the leadersopposetheuseorthreatofforcebyanyclaimantattemptingtoenforcedisputed claimsintheSouthChinaSea.84 Three days prior to the 2nd USASEAN Leaders Meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokespersonJiangYuattemptedtodissuadeASEANstatesfromtakingastandthatwent againstChinasinterests.Jiangstated:
WeareconcernedaboutanykindofstatementthatmightbeissuedbytheU.S.andASEANover theSouthChinaSea.Wordsoractsthatplayuptensionsintheregionandconcoctconflictsand provocationsinrelationsbetweencountriesintheregionareagainstthecommonwishofthe countriesintheregiontoseekpeaceanddevelopment85

Jiangconcluded,WefirmlyopposeanycountryhavingnothingtodowiththeSouthChina Seaissuegettinginvolvedinthedispute.Thiswillonlycomplicateratherthanhelpsolvethe issue.86Thefinaljointcommuniqudroppedreferencestotheuseorthreatofforceand didnotevenmentiontheSouthChinaSeabyname.87Reportedly,Thailandplayedakeyrole indilutingwordingfromthejointcommuniquthatmightoffendChina.88

84

TeresaCerojano,AssociatedPress,Manila,Obama,ASEANtocallforpeacefulendtoseaspats,September 19,2010andTessaJamandre,RPfacesnewtensionswithChinaoverSpratlyIslands,VERAFiles,September 20,2010.


85

Quoted in Christopher Bodeen, China Criticizes planned USASEAN statement on South China Sea, CanadianPress,September21,2010.
86

Xinhua,ChinaConcernedaboutPossibleU.S.ASEANStatementonSouthChinaSeaIssue,September21, 2010.BarryWainarguedthatChinasinterventionhadthedesiredeffect;see:BanyansNotebook,Becareful whatyouwishfor,TheEconomist,September23,2010.


87

TheWhiteHouse,OfficeofthePressSecretary,JointStatementofthe2 U.S.ASEANLeadersMeeting, September24,2010.


88

nd

QuotedinJeremyPage,PatrickBartaandJaySolomon,U.S.,AseantoPushBackAgainstChina,TheWall Street Journal, September 22, 2010 and Seas fill with tension over Chinas moves, The Asahi Shimbun, October2,2010.

31

Thailands accommodating and deferential policy towards China was evident in remarks madebyitsForeignMinister,SurapongTovichakchaikul,atthe45thAMMRetreat.89When the agenda item on the South China Sea came up for discussion, Surapong noted, on the basis of his discussions with Chinese officials, that they did not want the South China Sea issue to affect relations between ASEAN and China. What is important is for all parties concerned to scale down, calm things down, he said. Surapong asserted, the issue of territorialclaimswillhavetoberesolvedbetweentheclaimantstatesthroughnegotiation. But we have to recognize the broader implications. Apart from that, there is room for greaterdialoguebetweenbothsides.Ratherthanbeingseenassourceofconflict,theSouth China Sea should be seen [as an opportunity] for cooperation. [ASEAN and China] should buildtrustand[a]winwinsituation. Surapong advised that as the ASEAN Dialogue Coordinator for China (201215), Thailand willtryitbesttowardsthisend.Wewillpushaheadwithconcreteimplementationofthe DOC,whileensuringtheCOCdraftingprocessthatisinclusiveandcomfortableforallsides. Wemustgetitrightfromthestart.Surapongconcluded,Lastandmostimportant:ASEAN unity;thewholeworldiswatchingASEANwithhighexpectations;majorpowerswanttobe part of this fast growing region; we must ensure that this competition is a healthy one. ASEAN should make a positive influence on regional and international issues; ASEAN need[s] to speak more with one voice. Our collective voice does matter internationally. [The]BaliConcordII[stated]:[ASEAN]unitywouldenhancecredibilityand[its]centralityin [the]regionalarchitecture.

Cambodia
Cambodia,likeThailand,isnotapartyprincipaltotheSouthChinaSeadispute.In2012it assumedtheChairofASEAN.FromtheverybeginningPrimeMinisterHunSennotedthat Cambodiawouldplayaneutralrole.Thefirsttestcameatthe20thASEANSummitheldin Phnom Penh from April 34, 2012. Two issues related to the South China Sea became especiallycontentious.First,asASEANseniorofficialsmadeprogressontheASEANdraftof theCodeofConduct,ChinachangeditspositionandsoughtaseatattheASEANdiscussions. Second, China proposed the creation an Eminent Persons and Expert Working Group of

89

SummaryofCambodiaChairsinterventionattheAMMRetreat,9July2012,summarizedinThayer, "ASEANSCodeofConductintheSouthChinaSea:ALitmusTestforCommunityBuilding?."

32

equalnumbersbetweenASEANandChinatooffersuggestionsonthedraftCOC.Cambodia supported both proposals while the Philippines and Vietnam objected strongly. A compromise was reached. ASEAN would proceed on its own to draft a COC, while communicationwithChinawouldtakeplacethroughtheASEANChairatthesametime.90 Cambodiasselfproclaimedneutralitybecameanissueatthe45thAMM.Aftertheplenary sessiononthefirstday,CambodiasForeignMinister,HorNamhong,actingasASEANChair, assigned responsibility for drafting the joint communiqu summarizing the AMM deliberations to a working party of four foreign ministers: Marty Natalegawa (Indonesia), AnifahAman(Malaysia),AlbertdelRosario(Philippines)andPhamBinhMinh(Vietnam).91 They drew up a draft communiqu that summarized discussions on the South China Sea including the standoff at Scarborough Shoal between China and the Philippines and Vietnams concerns about the award of oil exploration leases by the CNOOC within Vietnams EEZ. The wording of this paragraph, number 16, became such a sticking point between Cambodia and the drafters of the joint communiqu that no communiqu was issued.ThiswasunprecedentedinASEANshistory.Itwasallthemoreremarkablebecause a Cambodian media advisory announcing the 45th AMM, released on July 6, 2002, stated, [a]JointCommuniquwillbeadoptedattheendoftheMeeting.92 CambodiaarguesthatthefailureoftheAMMtoadoptajointcommuniqurestssquarely with the Philippines and Vietnam and their insistence on including references to Scarborough Shoal and EEZs in the final text. According to Cambodia, the actions by the PhilippinesandVietnampreventedaconsensusfrombeingreachedandCambodiahadno recoursebuttowithholdthejointcommuniqu.Theleakedrecordoftheforeignministers retreatheldaftertheAMMrevealsadifferentstory.93 Atthe45thAMMRetreatallASEANforeignministersspoketotheagendaitemontheSouth China Sea {see discussion above). Cambodias Foreign Minister Hor Namhong rounded off

90 91

Thayer,IsthePhilippinesanOrphan?.
th

ErnestZ.Bower,ChinaRevealsItsHandonASEANinPhnomPenh,SoutheastAsiafromtheCornerof18 andKStreets,vol.III,No.14,July19,2012,2.
92

Cambodia,MinistryofForeignAffairs,TheFortyfifthASEANForeignMinistersMeeting,MediaAdvisory, July6,2012.http://www.aseansec.org/documents/PRESS%20ADVISORY_45th%20AMM.pdf.
93

SummaryofCambodiaChairsinterventionattheAMMRetreat,9July2012,summarizedinThayer, "ASEANSCodeofConductintheSouthChinaSea:ALitmusTestforCommunityBuilding?."

33

thisdiscussionbybluntlydeclaring,[t]hereisnoconsensus,[weshould]brackettheentire paragraphs 1417 for our decision. The most difficult is paragraph 16. It is a complex problem.94 AfterHorNamhongconcludedaninterchangetookplaceinvolvingtheinterventionofthe Indonesian,Malaysian,Singaporean,PhilippineandVietnameseforeignministers.Arecord ofthisdiscussionindicatesthatHorNamhongadoptedanegativeandcombativeattitudeto thecommentsandsuggestionsbythefiveforeignminsterstoachieveconsensus. After the AMM Retreat on the evening of July 9, Indonesia and Singapore played leading rolesinattemptingtobrokeracompromise.DiscussionsonthewordingoftheSouthChina Sea paragraphs continued until the morning of July 13 without breaking the impasse.95 AccordingtoErnestBower,whospoketodiplomatsinPhnomPenh,[r]epeatedly,however, aftertakingthedraftunderconsideration,HorNamhongconsultedwithadvisersoutsideof themeetingroomandcamebackrejectinglanguagereferringtoScarboroughShoalandthe EEZs,evenaftermultipleattemptstofindcompromise.HesaidCambodiasviewwasthat thosewerebilateralissuesandthereforecouldnotbementionedinthejointstatement.96 The original AMM joint communiqu went through a total of eighteen drafts and was rejectedbyCambodiaeachtime.97 UnnameddiplomaticsourcessuggestedcollusionbetweenChinaandCambodia.Onesenior diplomat was quoted as stating, China bought the chair, simple as that and pointed to commentsbyForeignMinisterYangJiechithankingPrimeMinisterHunSenforsupporting Chinascoreinterests.98Aveteranjournalistreportedthatwhenthefirstdraftofthejoint communiqu was submitted to the ASEAN Chair, the Cambodians, in a breach of ASEAN

94

CambodiasAmbassadortothePhilippinesclaimedthateightoutoftenASEANMemberStatesagreedto all132pointsintheJointCommuniqueofheAMM,includingthethreeparagraphs(14,15,17)relatedtothe South China Sea, except paragraph 6 which is the bilateral disputes between the Philippines and China and VietnamandChinaSee:AmbassadorHosSereythonh,LettertoMs.AnaMariePamintuan,EditorinChief, ThePhilippinesStar,July26,2012.http://www.akp.gov.kh/?p=22903&print1.
95

Zsosmbor Peter and Kuch Naren, Cambodia Criticized for Asean Meeting Failure, The Cambodian Daily, July1415,2012.
96 97 98

Bower,ChinaRevealsItsHandonASEANinPhnomPenh. GregTorode,ASEANLeftonaKnifeEdge,SouthChinaMorningPost,July21,2012.

JanePerlez,AsianLeadersatReginalMeetingFailtoResolveDisputesOverSouthChinaSea,TheNewYork Times,July12,2012.

34

protocol,showedittotheChinese,whosaiditwasunacceptableunlesstheSouthChinaSea referencewasremoved.SotheCambodianssentitbackforamendment.99 Analysts are divided on the details of and extent to which China influenced Cambodias decision to block the AMM joint communiqu. Kishore Mahbubani, a former senior Singaporeandiplomat,wrotethewholeworld,includingmostASEANcountries,perceived CambodiasstanceastheresultofenormousChinesepressure.100AmitavAcharyaopined, [t]here is little question that Hun Sens refusal to accommodate the Philippines and VietnamresultedatleastpartlyfromChinesepressure.Accordingtoahighlyplacedsource, theChinesespecificallyremindedtheCambodiansthat[Norodom]Sihanoukhadaccepted the Chinese claims to the South China Sea.101 A Chinese scholar close to the Ministry of StateSecurityrevealed,[w]ecoordinatedverywellwithCambodiainthatcase[blocking objectionable wording in the 45th AMM joint communiqu] and prevented an incident whichwouldhavebeendetrimentaltoChina.102 TheRest:Brunei,LaosandMyanmar Therecordofdeliberationsatthe45thAMMRetreatprovideaninsightintotheperspectives ofthreecountriesBrunei,LaosandMyanmarthatareusuallysilentontheSouthChina Sea dispute.103 Brunei makes no claims toanyfeatureintheSouth ChinaSea,but Chinas ninedashlinecrossesintoitsEEZ.Laosislandlocked.Myanmarisalsonotapartyprincipal totheSouthChinaSeadispute.ItwasoneoftwoASEANcountriestoremainsilentonthe SouthChinaSeaatthe2011EastAsiaSummit. Atthe45thAMMRetreatBruneiadoptedanaccommodatingpositionwhentheagendaitem ontheSouthChinaSeacameupfordiscussion.Itsforeignministertabledhisapprovalof ASEANsengagementwithChinaontheCOS,andnoteditItwasimportantforASEANand

99

RogerMitton,ASEANStrugglesforunity,ThePhnomPenhPost,July23,2012.

100

Kishore Mahbubani, Is China Losing the Diplomatic Plot? Project Syndicate, July 26, 2012. http://www.projectsyndicate.org/commentary/ischinalosingthediplomaticplot.
101 102

AmitavAcharya,TheendofASEANcentrality?,AsiaTimesOnline,August8,2012.

ChenXiangyang,ChinaInstitutesofContemporaryInternationalRelations,quotedbyKathirnHalle,Bejing considers stronger foreign ties, The Financial Times, August 15, 2012. Later, Premier Wen Jiabao thanked Cambodia for its important role in maintaining the overall situation of friendly relations between China and ASEAN,Xinhua,September2,2012.
103

SummaryofCambodiaChairsinterventionattheAMMRetreat,9July2012,summarizedinThayer, "ASEANSCodeofConductintheSouthChinaSea:ALitmusTestforCommunityBuilding?."

35

Chinatohavemutualtrustandconfidence.Withrespecttothedraftjointcommuniqu, Bruneisforeignministersaidhewouldbeguidedbyyour[ASEANChair]decision,[Brunei] cansupportthestatement. The Laotian ForeignMinister focused hisremarks onendorsingASEANsengagementwith Chinaandtheimportanceofdialoguetobuildconfidenceandmutualtrust.104Heendorsed progressonimplementingtheDOCandsupportedthecommencementofdiscussionswith ChinaontheCOCatseniorofficiallevel. Atthe45thAMMRetreat,Myanmar'sForeignMinisterreiteratedthatterritorialdisputesbe settledpeacefullythroughdialogueandengagement.HenotedtheimportanceoftheDOC and its aim to build confidence among the parties. He fully supported the Guidelines to ImplementtheDOC,theinitiationofcooperativeprojectsundertheDOC,andthefulland effectiveimplementationoftheCOC.TheForeignMinisterconcluded,we[ASEAN]have gained positive achievements with China and should keep the momentum of the achievements.

Conclusion
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea represent perhaps the greatest challenge to ASEANunityandcohesionasitapproachesthe2015selfimposeddeadlineofcreatingan ASEAN Community. South China Sea disputes not only pit individual Southeast Asian claimantstatesagainstChinabutASEANasacollectivityagainstChina. This paper presented a preliminary analysis of how individual Southeast Asian states have responded to this challenge along the spectrum of deference to defiance. Strategies of deference on the South China Sea dispute include economic and political engagement, a nonoffensive diplomatic posture, accommodation to Chinese views and preferences, and support for consensus within ASEAN. Strategies of defiance include: public assertions of sovereignty,physicalconfrontationindisputedareas,diplomaticinternationalizationofthe issue,selfhelpintheformofmilitarymodernization,andseekingtoleveragerelationswith theUnitedStates.

104 th

The5 ASEANChinaSeniorOfficialsMeetingontheDOCandthe7 ASEANChinaJointWorkingGroupon theImplementationoftheDOCmetinBeijingfromJanuary1316,2012.

th

36

The finding of this paper challenge long held assumptions that Southeast Asias security complex is divided between mainland and maritime states. The analysis in this paper suggeststhatSoutheastAsianstatesaredividedintothreegroupings:mainland(Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia), littoral (Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei) and maritime(IndonesiaandSingapore). The mainland states show greatest deference to China. The littoral states pursue mixed strategiesofdeferenceanddefiance.MalaysiaandBruneipursuepoliciesofdeferenceand accommodation,whilethePhilippinesandVietnampursueamixedpolicyofdeferenceand defiance with a noticeable military component. The maritime states also pursue mixed policiesofdeferenceanddefiance,withanotableemphasisondiplomaticmeans.