Sunday, April 22, 2012

Vietnam vs Taiwan in the South China Sea

In recent weeks a number of pieces have discussed the prospects and issues swirling around deeper US involvement in Asia and its meaning for Taiwan (Hsiao/Stokes, J Michael Cole). An apparent confrontation between forces from Vietnam and Taiwan highlights an aspect of this issue -- Taiwan cannot join a US-led alliance to contain Chinese expansionism because its government imagines that it is the legitimate ruler of China and thus makes exactly the same claims to the South China Sea that Beijing does. This means that it is confronting the same nations Beijing is.... and causes the same tensions. Let's hope the next government is wiser.

This week media reports started trickling in from several Asian papers saying that the Vietnamese had engaged in a little realpolitik with Taiwan over the Spratlys. The China Post reported:
The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday confirmed that Vietnamese patrol vessels twice intruded into Taiwan-controlled waters in the South China Sea last month and were forced to leave the country's territory by coast guard forces.

The Vietnamese vessels were found in restricted waters near Taiping Island, (太平島) the largest island in the Spratlys archipelago, on March 22 and 26, the CGA said.

On March 22, two of the Coast Guard's M8 speedboats were dispatched to intercept two patrol vessels at near Taiping. The Vietnamese vessels left after the CGA speedboats arrived. On the March 26 incident, two Vietnamese ships also entered waters near the island, according to the CGA.

The two ships later left the restricted waters shortly after discovering they were being monitored by the Coast Guard's radar, the CGA said.

No weapons were fired during both incidents, according to the CGA, refuting media speculation that both sides exchanged warning shots during the March 22 confrontation, which has escalated the already heated sovereignty dispute in the region.
The CNA reported on it a couple of days ago. Just imagine if the Chinese started backing up Nationalist forces in a confrontation.....

This story appears as providential justification for Taiwan's purchase of four Perry-class warships from the US.....

REFWiki on the Spratly dispute
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MJ Klein said...

Just imagine if the Chinese started backing up Nationalist forces in a confrontation.....

Michael, you know that the way things are going, this is bound to happen at some point. that is exactly the kind of common ground the CCP is seeking with the Taiwanese people.

Michael Turton said...

Yes, I think it would really split people in Taiwan.

Lorenzo said...

Vietnam is the name of a nation and Taiwan is the name of a geographical area. There can not be a problem between those two entities. The title of this post should run more accurately as
'Vietnam vs Chinese nationalist government in-exile', or vividly as
'Hu-founded Vietnam vs Chiang-led run-away regime'.