Prof. Dr. Vu Van Hien, deputy head of the Party Central Committee's Theory Council, outlined his vision of China’s illegal acts that have resulted in the escalation of tensions in the East Sea in a recent interview granted to a Japanese reporter, according to radio The Voice of Vietnam (VOV).

In the interview, Hien stated the council anticipated that sooner or later China would seek to monopolise the East Sea and realise its dream of becoming a "greater China" at sea through the use of aggressive and illegal actions against Vietnam and its neighbours.

Vietnam and neighbouring countries have always been cognisant of this deep-seated intention by China. Therefore, conflict in the East Sea was inevitable as it is part and parcel of China’s policies and orientations, Hien said.

In 2011 and 2012, China cut cables of Vietnamese oil exploration ships and Vietnam at the time availed itself of all diplomatic measures at its disposal to demand China immediately stop those illegal activities.

However, the Chinese side did not stop there but devised a scheme to illegally monopolise the East Sea by putting the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf from the beginning of May, thus escalating the tension in the East Sea.

Hien emphasised that the Party and Government of Vietnam have always had the strong desires to stand united with all the nations in the world, especially China - a large neighbouring country.

Although the two countries have historically experienced a number of upheavals, Vietnam has always held the friendship in high regard and consistently taken measures to create a perfect harmony and an atmosphere of peaceful friendly cooperation between the two nations.

Regarding the illegal stationing of the oil rig by China in Vietnam’s waters, the view of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is that the country should stand resolute in its defence of national territorial sovereignty and fight to the end to defend the sovereignty.

However, the country would always stand prepared to resolve the situation in a peaceful manner, resulting in a positive and prosperous development for the region as a whole.

Hien also said the histories of Vietnam and the world had a lot of evidence clearly showing Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes belong to Vietnam.

From the Han dynasty (in 203-220 BC) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) of China, there were not any documents demonstrating the sovereignty over the two archipelagoes rightfully belong to China.

World Atlas of Philip Vantermanden published in 1927 in Europe also specified Hoang Sa and Truong Sa belong to Vietnam. Also, this map clearly indicated the location of China's southernmost tip was Hainan Island.

A map drawn by Jodocus Hondius in 1613 shows Hoang Sa archipelago, including all Vietnam's islands from the southern part of the Tonkin Gulf to the southern coast of Vietnam, except Pulo Condor (Con Dao) and Pulo Cici (Phu Quoc Island) which were plotted separately.

At the San Francisco conference in the US in September 1951 discussing territorial issues after World War II, 46 out of the 51 countries voted for Vietnam, recognising the country’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes.

Hien confirmed China used force to invade the eastern part of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago in 1956 after it signed a peace agreement on the Indochina Peninsula.

In 1974, China once again used force occupying the western part of the archipelago. More seriously, in 1988, China again sent troops invading various rocks and islets that belong to Vietnam.

In recent years, China has continuously escalated encroachment activities in the East Sea- making its official claim to the “nine-dash” line (May 2009), cutting the cables of Vietnamese ships Binh Minh 2 and Viking 2 (May/June 2011), establishing the so-called "Sansha City" (June 2012), unilaterally issuing a fishing ban in the East Sea every year and taking enforcement measures on Fisheries Law of Hainan Province (effective from January 2014).

In addition, China has organised patrols and military exercises in the East Sea to flaunt its power as a deterrence to other claimants, intensified activities pertaining to oil and gas exploration, archaeology and tourism development, strengthened occupied bases, chased and attacked Vietnamese fishing vessels in a blatant manner in defiance of public opinion and international law.

Besides, China also claims an "absolute right" to establish an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) in the East Sea.

In 2013, China increased its defence budget with a focus on boosting the navy. China also constantly reinforced institutions in the so-called "Sansha” and set up a radio and TV station there.

Thus, illegal actions taken by China in the recent past were the result of deliberate and careful calculations designed to implement a long-term conspiratorial agenda to monopolise the East Sea.

At its 18th Congress, the Communist Party of China identified strategies to develop China into a "sea power". To reach this goal, China adopted a series of policies to strengthen the “practical management” in the East Sea.

The policies included publishing two Defence White Papers entitled “The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces” and "Diplomatic White Book 2013” in which for the first time a separate section was devoted to "protect maritime rights and interests of China". These documents emphasised protecting core national interests and affirmed the important task of the Chinese army is to protect maritime rights and interests.

Notably, China decided to establish the National Security Committee to direct island security work, consolidate island management agencies, reform law enforcement forces at sea, aiming to broaden the scope of their activities.

The State Oceanic Administration of China also established an “island research centre”.

After China’s plot to monopolise the East Sea is studied, its ambitions becomes clear: It wants to gradually legalise a "U-shape" maritime boundary claim by applying tricks in all fields -communications, legal means, diplomacy and economics, using of force and causing local conflicts to turn nothing into something, undisputed into disputed waters, tapping natural resources located in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the East Sea littoral states.

Since then, the East Sea will be considered as their home pond, clearing the way to the ocean to turn itself into a sea superpower that controls the international sea lifeline through the East Sea and the natural resources of the East Sea.

“Vietnam is a peace-loving nation that always wants to keep peace with China. Vietnam also thanks the goodwill statements by neighbouring countries, Japan and the US that condemn China’s misconduct and ethical violations of international law in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone,” Hien said.

“The country states that security interests in the East Sea are not only of its own but of the whole region and the world including the US and Japan. The US and Japan’s deep concern over this matter is entirely plausible and is also suggestive for a better future in the East Sea,” Hien concluded.-VNA