Monday, June 13, 2011

Caucus Brief: China-Vietnam Dispute Grows With Naval Maneuvers

CHINA-VIETNAM DISPUTE GROWS WITH NAVAL MANEUVERS.  Vietnam has announced that this week it will conduct a nine-hour live-fire naval exercise off of its central coast.  This is the first time that the government has publicized a live-ammunition drill, leading many analysts to believe that this drill is intended to send a clear message to China about Vietnam's interests in the South China Sea.  This exercise is the most recent escalation in a long-running dispute with China over control of territory in the South China Sea, a dispute that has substantially ratcheted up in recent weeks. 

VIETNAM SEEKS U.S. SUPPORT IN CHINA DISPUTE.  Vietnam has reached out to the U.S. and other nations for help in resolving escalating territorial disputes in the resource-rich South China Sea. The FT reports that this move is likely to anger Beijing, which opposes what it sees as outside interference.  This request comes after weeks of public protests in Vietnam and a planned live-fire naval drill off of Vietnam's central coast.

U.S. URGES CALM AS VIETNAM-CHINA SPAT ESCALATES.  U.S. officials said June 10, that the U.S. is troubled by tensions in the South China Sea and is calling for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.  U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner: "We support a collaborative diplomatic process and call on all claimants to conform all of their claims, both land and maritime, to international law." 

CHINESE POLICE ARREST 25 AFTER VIOLENT CLASHES.  A crowd threw bricks at police in Southern China after two street vendors were reportedly beaten by police.  This protest follows a separate incident in China's Hubei province in which the BBC reports that, "hundreds of people laid siege to local government offices following the death in custody of a respected local official." 


ETHINC PROTESTS IN CHINA HAVE LENGTHY ROOTS.  A piece in the NYT argues that recent ethnic Mongolian protests in China are a sobering reminder that China cannot repress, with an iron fist, the 8% of its population that is made up of ethnic minorities.  The piece quotes Minxin Pei, a China expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: "The Mongolian situation is very worrying for Chinese leadership because you can't just throw money at an issue like ethnic identity." 

BOMB BLAST ADDS TO CHINESE UNREST.  A man seeking "revenge on society" detonated a bomb outside a government headquarters in northeastern China over the weekend.  This explosion marks the third bomb at a Chinese government facility in the last three weeks.  These bombings mark a trend of increasing dissent and incidents of unrest in China's urban areas as the government continues with its aggressive crackdown. Two people were injured in this most recent blast. 

CHINA TO HALT GRASS-ROOTS CANDIDATES.  The NYT reports that the Chinese government appears to be restricting attempts by certain citizens to run for local legislative office as self proclaimed independent candidates, stating that these candidacies are illegal and that no one can run for office without first clearing a clearing a series of procedural hurdles.  From the piece: "The decision...appeared to some to reflect official concern about the Communist Party's grip on the election process in a society whose members are increasingly linked by the internet. 

The Caucus Brief is a daily publication for Members of Congress and Hill Staffers on China news and information compiled by the office of Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder of the Congressional China Caucus.  Email with tips, comments, or to subscribe/unsubscribe.

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