Published On: Sun, Aug 18th, 2019

South China Sea: Tensions escalate as Vietnam begs Beijing to remove vessels | World | News

Like many countries in the region, Vietnam has clashed with China over certain areas which Beijing considers within its nine-dash line policy. The nine-dash line policy is the demarcation line marked out by Beijing and includes hotly contested island groups such as the Spratly and Paracels. Recently, Vietnam confirmed that a Chinese survey vessel had re-entered its territorial waters, thus inflaming tensions once again.

Following the return of the Chinese vessel, Vietnam has pleaded with China to leave the Vanguard bank.

In a statement, Le Thi Thu Hang, a spokeswoman for the country foreign ministry said on Friday: “Vietnam has made contact with China to protest its repeated violations and demanded that China withdraw the vessel group from Vietnamese waters.”

Adding to the tense relations, on Friday a Chinese fishing ban that had been in place since May, was lifted.

As a result of that, fleets of fishing vessels from China are expected to enter areas that neighbouring countries may consider as there own.

READ MORE: South China Sea: Beijing on collision course with US

Experts have already stated that lifting the ban could increase the friction between Beijing and Hanoi.

With tensions in the region threatening to spill into conflict, the US has stepped up patrols in the sea.

In light of that, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi stated that any non-regional country should leave.

Mr Wang added: “We think non-regional countries should not deliberately amplify such differences or disputes.

READ MORE: South China Sea crisis: Officials attack Duterte

“Non-regional countries should also not make use of these differences to sow distrust between China and ASEAN countries.”

Fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member, the Philippines has also expressed its fear over the presence of Chinese ships.

Presidential spokesman, Salvador Panelo said: “We express concern with that kind of incident because they China keep on saying that we’re friends.

“I don’t think that this is an act of friendship.”

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