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(Opinion) Vietnam backs Philippine case against Chinese maritime claims

2014-12-31 08:28:33       source:World Socialist Web Site

By John Roberts

December 30, 2014

"The Vietnamese government's decision to support the legal case initiated by the Philippines to contest China's territorial claims in the South China Sea is a sign of the growing geo-political tensions. Relatively low-key maritime disputes, which have festered for decades, have become dangerous potential flashpoints as the US has encouraged countries like Vietnam and the Philippines to challenge China.

Hanoi submitted its legal brief to the Arbitral Tribunal at The Hague on December 11. As part of the Philippines case filed on March 30, Vietnam is requesting the court rule that Manila's maritime claims are part of its continental shelf and within its 370 kilometre exclusive economic zone. Such a decision would cut across the basis of China's claims in the South China Sea which depend in part on "historical rights."

The Vietnamese position paper offered support for the Philippines case, rejected China's "nine dash" map that sets out its maritime claims and requested that the arbitration panel take into consideration Vietnam's interests in the South China Sea, which Hanoi refers to as the East Sea."

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