regional peace because the law regulates the behaviour of both Vietnamese and
foreigners in Vietnam’s maritime domain.
4) CSIS in Washington also referred to issues of East Sea relate Vietnam - China,China - Philippines and Asean - China? How about CSIS's results? And at CSIS, howdid international delegates comment about CNOOC's invitation for int'l bids, aboutnine-dotted line, about Vietnam and Asean solutions?ANSWER: The CSIS conference was held to understand the current nature of themaritime disputes in the South China Sea and more importantly to explore optionsfor managing the dispute. The conference was not designed to reach consensus.
Only the Chinese scholars supported CNOOC’s actions.
Most of the scholars were
highly critical of CNOOC’s action on legal and political grounds. Some of the
specialists offered the view that no major international oil company would take up
CNOOC’s offer to bid for a block. Senator Joseph Liberman offered the suggestion
that the claimant states should take their dispute to third party arbitration. Another
suggestion was to study the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement
mechanism and see if it could be adopted to the South China Sea disputes. In other
words, to test China’s actions as a threat to free trade under the China
-ASEAN FreeTrade Agreement (FTA) and other relevant FTAs.
CNOOC’s actions come on the eve of the annu
al meeting of the ASEAN RegionalForum. This will mean the South China Sea dispute will attract renewed internationalattention. China will be in the spotlight. This is must be an unwelcome developmentfor the Foreign Ministry in Beijing which has worked for a year now to tone down
and deflect international criticism. How can Chin’s Foreign Ministry
now participatein confidence building measures under the DOC, or even negotiate a Code of Conduct, when its efforts are contradicted by the state-run CNOOC.
Suggested citation: Carlyle A. Thayer, “
South China Sea Trifecta: New Maritime Law,China
’s Oil Leases
and San Sha City
Thayer Consultancy Background Brief
, July 1,2012.