Chinese geological survey vessel group Haiyang Dizhi 8’s recent activities in the Tu Chinh reef, internationally known as Vanguard Bank, in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the East Sea has caused concerns in the international community.

Talking to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s reporters in Sydney, Prof. Carl A. Thayer of the Australian Defence Force Academy said China's actions have infringed on Vietnam's EEZ, adding that China’s other commercial and survey activities in the area must be permitted by Vietnam because only Vietnam has the right to all resources in the waters and the seabed in its EEZ.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) needs to raise its voice about this issue as China also carried out similar activities in the waters of the Philippines and Malaysia, he stressed, adding that if ASEAN member countries do not protest, these actions will continue repeating many times in the future.

The ASEAN countries should show their tough standpoint in their dialogues with China, he noted.

Prof. Go Ito (R) from the Meiji University of Japan and a VNA correspondent in Japan (Source: VNA)

Meanwhile, James Gomes, Executive Director at the Asia Centre in Bangkok, Thailand, highly evaluated Vietnam's proper behaviour in the current tension with China in the East Sea, saying that the sea must be a free and peaceful region for travel, trade and cooperation among countries.

According to Dr. Takashi Hosoda from Charles University of the Czech Republic said China is undermining the trust of the international community.

Talking to VNA correspondents in Prague, Hosoda said the area around the Tu Chinh reef where Vietnam has explored and exploited oil and gas is fully located in Vietnam’s EEZ and China has no foundations to claim sovereignty in the area.

China's actions clearly violated Vietnam's EEZ and continental shelf, as well as international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), of which China is also a member.

The international community, especially the ASEAN, the US, Japan, Australia, India, France, and the UK, need to continue having a strong voice and concrete actions to curb China's escalating activities.

The ASEAN should strengthen intra-bloc solidarity and ASEAN member states that have sovereignty claims in the East Sea should persistently struggle against and prevent China’s deterrent activities in the East Sea and settle disputes without affecting bilateral relations with China for strategic interests of each country, and for peace, stability and development in the region and the world, he said.

According to Prof. Go Ito from Meiji University of Japan, China's recent actions in the East Sea are facing increasing criticism from the international community.

He underlined the necessity for Vietnam to strengthen its strength by further expanding friendly relations with countries, which share their views with Vietnam's maritime policy./.

CPV/VNA