Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vietnamese anti-Chinese protests sees 21 dead and over 100 injured

(Hanoi) Concerns with the neighbours over how China has ignored the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, which states that the area 200 miles out from a nation's shoreline belongs to it, has boiled down to those neighbours rearming, building pacts with others (including America) and, unfortunately, very recently, as in the case with Vietnam, violent protest.

Until the 1st of May, Vietnam subscribed to quietly building up its armed forces:

Has bought Russian submarines, Russian and Dutch frigates and a deadly anti shipping missile system.

Has bought a number of Su-30, a large number of anti-aircraft missiles, a large number of UAVs and a very large number air to surface missiles.

Looking at buying 100 T-90 tanks, 10 9K720 Iskander tactical ballistic missile launchers.

OK, let's be honest, in a straight out slugfest, Vietnam will never win against the Chinese. However, and a big however, they have a history on never rolling over in a fight and blooding the nose of the bigger person (France, America, Cambodia and China).

Anyway, as I mentioned above, China has taken to claiming virtually the entire China Sea as its own, and since Jan 13, it has deployed its quasi-military coast guard (supported by the military) to kick the natives off their territory in the name of... China. Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam have all felt the wrath of the imperial dragon.

Well, 120 miles off the coast of Vietnam and 210 miles away from China are the Parcel Islands. However, on the 1st of May, the Chinese decided to position an oil rig at the extreme western edge of the Islands and 70 miles inside Vietnamese territory. Vietnam, of course, protested and sent a flotilla of ships to press their case. The Chinese in turn sent more ships (80) and won the day. Well, this hasn't gone down well with the Vietnamese public, and yesterday they started attacking foreign owned companies. Flush with their success, today they went a stage further and attacked more, resulting in over 21 deaths and over 100 injured.

Ironically, the vast majority of businesses attacked today belong to... Taiwan, which, while Chinese, is a nation which the Vietnamese should really be courting, simply as they are officially at war with... China.

No doubt the Chinese will use this as an excuse to clamp down hard on the Vietnamese. Problem is, the Vietnamese are not a nation known for acquiescence to threats, and this silly little cock fight has the potential of becoming a big gun fight.