Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò

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Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò

Như đã nêu trong bài “Phát biểu lạ đời của hai học giả về đường lưỡi bò”. Chính TS. Phạm Quang Tuấn, phó giáo sư ĐH New South Wales, đã có cuộc tranh luận qua email với Stein Tønnesson. Cuộc tranh luận này đã được đăng lại trên trang mạng của ĐH Uppsala, một tên hiện rất quen thuộc trong “lòng” người Việt.

Bác Phạm Quang Tuấn, một nhà Hoá học, đã giúp cho TS. Stein Tønnesson, một giáo sư nghiên cứu về hoà bình của khu vực Đông Á, hiểu thêm về ý đồ thâm hiểm của Trung Quốc thông qua cái giấc mộng “đường lưỡi bò” hảo huyền.

Cũng xin nói thêm, Tønnesson lấy bằng tiến sĩ tại ĐH Oslo về Cuộc cách mạng tháng 8 của Việt Nam. Ông này cũng có nhiều bài viết về Việt Nam. Hiện nay ông vừa là giáo sư nghiên cứu thuộc Viện nghiên cứu về hoà bình tại Oslo, Na Uy, và vừa là trưởng một nhóm nghiên cứu về hoà bình của khu vực Đông Á tại ĐH Uppsala ở Thuỵ Điển. Xin xem thêm về vị học giả này:

Không hiểu sao ông có học vị tiến sĩ, nghề nghiệp là giáo sư và cũng có trưng ra thành tích nghiên cứu mà sao vừa rồi phát biểu kỳ thế. Nói chung đừng có thấy cái gì màu vàng vàng mà cho đó là vàng. Biết đâu đó chỉ là vàng giả.

Xin xem phía dưới nội dung tranh luận như đã đề cập. Hiện tại chỉ có bản tiếng Anh. Một bạn nghiên cứu sinh cho biết rằng bạn ấy đang dịch cuộc đối thoại này sang tiếng Việt.

Có điều hơi lạ là ngài Tô Hạo không dám lên tiếng dù bị “lên án” trong cuộc tranh luận này, email của ông có trong danh sách mailing list của cuộc tranh luận. Vậy là sao hả ông Hạo?

Tôi đã theo dõi toàn bộ quá trình tranh luận này. Tôi nhận ra rằng muốn thuyết phục được các học giả quốc tế thì lòng yêu nước không chưa đủ, phải có sự hiểu biết sâu rộng về vấn đề tranh chấp trên Biển Đông, và quan trọng nữa là phải có khả năng diễn đạt tiếng Anh tốt. Thế vẫn chưa đủ! Cần phải có nghệ thuật thuyết phục nữa.

Không biết hiện có bao nhiêu người Việt của mình có đủ 4 yếu tố – yêu nước, kiến thức Biển Đông, tiếng Anh tốt và nghệ thuật thuyết phục?

TS. Lê Văn Út, ĐH Oulu, Phần Lan

url 1: http://cc.oulu.fi/~levanut

url 2: https://levanut.wordpress.com

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China’s maritime claims and deep intentions

An e-mail exchange between professors Stein Tønnesson and Pham Quang Tuan

How should the rest of the world treat the u-shaped line that appears on most Chinese maps of the South China Sea? As a claim to the whole sea area? Or just to the islands within it and their maritime zones? This question was discussed at the Third international workshop The South China Sea: Cooperation for Development and Security in Hanoi 3-5 November 2011, organized by the Vietnam Lawyers Association and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

In his presentation at the conference, Stein Tønnesson expressed the opinion that the rest of the world should decide to take for granted that the u-shaped line means only a claim to the islands inside it and their maritime zones since any other interpretation is impossible. Chinese legal experts also realize that no other interpretation has any basis in international law.

After the conference, Professor Pham Quang Tuan of the School of Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry at The University of New South Wales pointed out in a message to Stein Tønnesson that his statement was in total contradiction with a statement made at the same conference by Professor Su Hao of the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. Su Hao said clearly that China laid claim to not just islands, but also the South China Sea as a “sea area”.

This led to the following e-mail exchange, which is reproduced here with permission from Stein Tønnesson and Pham Quang Tuan.

Pham Quang Tuan to Stein Tønnesson and others:

1. SU Hao, professor/director, Center for Strategic and Conflict Management, China Foreign Affairs University: “The South China Sea is the sea area which was discovered and explored by the ancient Chinese people, and was then effectively managed by the Chinese government. Compared with its neighboring countries, China owns abundant historical records to prove its legal rights over the South China Sea and most islands in that area.”

2. Stein Tønnesson, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University: “The widespread idea that China claims all the waters within the u-shaped line should simply be put aside as false. The ambiguity maintained by China as to the extension of its maritime zone claims must not be seen as an indication that China is making such a preposterous claim. It can be taken for granted that the u-shaped line means only a claim to the islands within it and the maritime zones that can be generated from baselines around those islands.”

Both these statements were made at the same conference!

Le Van Ut (Oulu University, Finland) to Pham Quang Tuan and Stein Tønnesson: 

Today I got a message from Professor Tuan Pham from Australia. I found that this was also sent to you.

Since your idea about “the u-shaped line” is strange, say incorrect, I would like you to read the following two articles in Nature:

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111019/full/478293a.html

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v478/n7369/full/478285a.html

I am looking forward to hearing your further comments on this issue.

Tønnesson to Le Van Ut and Pham Quang Tuan: 

The contradiction between Su Hao’s and my statements at the recent South China Sea conference in Hanoi is due to a lack of legally based precision in Su Hao’s statement. Just like the authors behind the two articles in the magazine Nature referred to in Ut Van Le’s letter, Su Hao does not appreciate the fundamental difference in international law between land and water. While it is possible to make a sovereignty claim to land (such as the Spratly islands) based on historical discovery and permanent occupation, it is only under very special circumstances (which are certainly not present in the South China Sea) possible to claim so-called “historical waters.” Sovereign rights to resources in “water areas” are obtained on the basis of distance from the nearest coast (12 nautical mile territorial waters, a further 12 nm contiguous zone, and a 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf). The only possible legal interpretation of the Chinese u-shaped line is therefore that it indicates a claim to the land features (islands) within the line, i.e., the Paracels, Scarborough Reef and the Spratly islands, and maritime zones around these islands. This is also no doubt the way the line was meant when it was first officially published by the Republic of China in 1948 (at that time most countries’ territorial waters were just 3 nautical miles).

While some scholars in China and Taiwan have tried to argue that China can have a “historical waters” claim in the South China Sea, the majority of legally trained Chinese scholars realize that this is impossible and that the u-shaped line can only be understood in the way mentioned above. This comes out clearly from a 1994 article written by China’s lead legal expert on the law of the sea Gao Zhiguo, who was later appointed judge on the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg. The UK based Chinese legal scholar Zou Keyuan also notes in his recent book China-ASEAN Relations and International Law (Chandos 2009, p. 178): “Though still debated, the majority of the Chinese scholars tend to recognize that the line is the one that only defines the islands and other territories within the line.” (What Zou Keyuan means by “other territories within the line” is unclear to me; perhaps he will clarify).

On 7 May 2009, when the Chinese government sent its official protest to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf against the joint Malaysian-Vietnamese submission concerning the extension of the continental shelf in the southern part of the South China Sea, the map with the u-shaped line was for the first time attached to an official Chinese letter to the United Nations. In the cover letter, the line was explained in the following way: “China has undisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters, and enjoys sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the relevant waters as well as the seabed and subsoil thereof (see attached map).” While the wording here is (no doubt deliberately) ambiguous and uses vague terms such as “adjacent” and “relevant” instead of the correct legal terms, the only reasonable interpretation of the sentence is that China claims the islands and the maritime zones they can generate.

The ASEAN claimants (Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines – Brunei maybe too) seem now to converge around the view that the Spratly islands are too small to generate more than 12 nautical mile territorial waters. This is based on article 121.3 in the Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC), which says that rocks that cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own cannot have more than a 12 nm territorial water zone. China has recently expressed the opposite view. This may now be the main legal dispute in the South China Sea, and the main question that needs to be resolved in order to move forward. If two countries ask the Law of the Sea Tribunal in Hamburg for a legal opinion on this issue, it might be very helpful. If it could be established that the Spratly islands are too small to generate more than 12 nm territorial waters, the dispute over the Spratlys would lose much of its salience. The surrounding states could then begin to negotiate their maritime borders in the area with no regard for the dispute over the Spratly islands, except that they would have to leave 12 nm enclaves around each of them. The dispute to these enclaves could simply be shelved.

I think it is ESSENTIAL that international commentators and media stop conveying the impression that China may claim, or is claiming, all the waters within the u-shaped line. And we must stop reproducing misleading maps of the kind to be found in the magazine Nature under the title “Disputed regions,” which superposes the u-shaped line in red (with far too many dashes) on a map with quite correctly drawn EEZ lines in blue and says that the u-shaped line represents a Chinese “territorial waters” claim. This is absurd. It would mean that China claims territorial waters that go far beyond its EEZ. This is to turn the law upside down, since territorial waters can only go out to a maximum of 12 nm while EEZs can go to 200 nm.

It is high time we help Su Hao and others to understand and then explain to the Chinese public that the only way to promote China’s interests is to correctly clarify China’s EEZ and continental shelf claims, launch convincing legal arguments in favour of Chinese claims to islands and then perhaps try to argue that some such islands satisfy the conditions for having an EEZ and continental shelf of their own. While this will be very difficult with regard to the Spratlys (the largest, Taiwan-occupied Itu Aba, is just 1400 m long and 400 m wide), I personally think it might be possible to argue that Woody Island in the Paracels is big enough to have its own EEZ, which would then probably encompass Macclesfield Bank. This bank is submerged under water and is therefore a part of the seabed in the eyes of the law. Macclesfield Bank can thus not be claimed by China or anyone else as land, but sovereign rights to its resources may be claimed on the basis of distance from the nearest coast, which might be Woody Island, which has been occupied more or less continuously since November 1946 by China, first the Republic of China 1946-50 and then the People’s Republic of China since 1955-56.

The proliferation of misleading maps like the one in Nature serves to create dangerous illusions among the Chinese public and instill exaggerated fear in others. Let us discuss on the basis of international law instead of nationalist phantasies.

Pham Quang Tuan to Stein Tønnesson: 

Thank you for responding to my email. Your eloquent response put me in a quandary. In this matter of Chinese foreign policy, who shall I believe, a high-ranking Chinese scholar from China Foreign Affairs University, or a Scandinavian researcher?

No offence intended towards Scandinavia. On the contrary: it is an admirable part of the world, more democratic than practically anywhere else, where everybody can have and promote his own ideas, interpretations and so on without fear of repercussion. Even preposterous ones. China, however, is another thing altogether. Even humble physical scientists and engineers have to obey their government and insert silly, internationally unrecognized maps into their scientific papers (see Nature article). What chances do people like Prof. Su Hao have of  being able to advance their own, “preposterous” foreign policy ideas?

People like Prof. Su, director of a research centre in a Chinese university – not just any university, but the CHINA FOREIGN AFFAIRS UNIVERSITY – did not get to where he is by championing preposterous and unorthodox personal ideas about foreign policies. His views would have been scrutinized every inch of the way since his undergrad days by the powers that be, to make sure that they conform to the accepted line.

You preferred the interpretation of a 1994 paper by a Chinese scholar to a 2011 interpretation by another Chinese scholar. That’s another problem, because it is now 2011, not 1994, and you seem to assume that Chinese South China Sea policy is something that is immutable in time and has remained the same in the last 17 years. Now 17 years is about one third of the time since the U-shaped line appeared in official Chinese maps, about three times the time since it was made mandatory in China, about half the time since China transformed from a communist economy to a capitalist economy, about the same time that China grew from an emerging nation to a major world power, and almost exactly the same time that has passed since China acquired its first aircraft carrier. Would you have us believe that China’s foreign policy and ambitions have remained immutable all that time?

You admit that China has deliberately kept its interpretation of the U-shaped line ambiguous, but you insist that this must be interpreted in the most benign way possible. But China is not a frivolous girl who keeps her intentions hidden just to tease others, or a mute child who is incapable of enunciating his own ideas. It is a major world power and a country who has been a master of political techniques for the last three millennia. It is a country who produced Sun Tsu, whose work is still studied in military academies all over the world, and who has nothing to concede to Machiavelli. If such a major power deliberately keeps its intentions hidden, then what should we conclude? It must have something to hide.

Now I would like to say what I believe. We can take it for granted that the ambiguous attitude of China concerning the U-shaped line is all about maximising the pluses and minimising the minuses. That of course is what all governments do. By not saying anything concrete, China avoids tying itself down to a certain position while leaving all options open. Of course, its options will grow wider and wider as its strength grows. However, it will let its scholars be its unofficial mouthpieces: that’s convenient, because the policies are still promulgated without any accountability. It will thus avoid direct criticisms of its ambitions, because if anybody criticises its illegal claims, it can simply stay silent and avoid answering the question – until the timewhen this ceases to matter, i.e., when it has become overwhelmingly dominant militarily. Better still, it will have apologists who, whatever the motive, will jump to its defence and argue that it has never claimed, or even better, will never claim anything excessive.

Stein Tønnesson to Pham Quang Tuan and Su Hao: 

I find it interesting, Pham Quang Tuan, that you have pointed out to a wider audience the contradiction between Su Hao’s and my statements at the recent South China Sea conference in Hanoi concerning China’s claims in the South China Sea. While I agree with you that a China Foreign Affairs University Professor’s statement should be considered a better source to what China’s claims are than a statement by a Scandinavian researcher, I still think I’m right in what I say about the only possible interpretation of the u-shaped line. I also think I’m right to propose that we now all work on the assumption that China’s u-shaped line means only a claim to the islands within it and the maritime zones they may generate. Su Hao’s unfortunate statement in Hanoi reflects the deliberate ambiguity of the Chinese government concerning its claims in the South China Sea, while my statement reflects the only possible legal interpretation of China’s claims. If China should decide to make its precise claims known, it will surely have to abandon any illusion that it may claim the whole “sea area” within the u-shaped line.

I also find it interesting, Su Hao, to see how China’s ambiguous use of the u-shaped line provokes the kind of strong reactions among Vietnamese both in Vietnam and in the Vietnamese diaspora that you and I heard at both of the conferences we attended together, first in Washington, DC in June and then in Hanoi in early November, and also can see reflected in Pham Quang Tuan’s letters to me. China’s ambiguity works against the interests of China and of the Chinese Communist Party since it provokes strong anti-Chinese sentiments in countries China wants to have good relations with, and since it also provokes opposition in Vietnam towards those of their own leaders who want to preserve a friendly and peaceful relationship with China. And as I argued at the conference, there is no way China can use hard power to enforce a claim to the whole “sea area” within the u-shaped line. No matter how strong the Chinese navy becomes, the neighbouring countries shall never accept to give away what is rightfully theirs. They know the law of the sea just as well as China’s legal experts do, so they know what is clearly theirs, what China may claim, and where there may be overlapping legitimate claims. So if China should choose to use force to take control of resources in what other countries rightfully consider to be their exclusive economic zones, Vietnam and the Philippines will do their utmost to seek outside help against China, and also use their own means to sabotage Chinese exploitation of their oil. They will also disregard any Chinese fishing ban. The only way for China to realize its interests in the South China Sea is to negotiate bilaterally and multilaterally on the basis of international law. This is why it is such good news that the Chinese and Vietnamese leaders agreed on 11 October 2011 to go back to the negotiating table. The Gulf of Tonkin agreement was negotiated by China and Vietnam in 2000 on the basis of international law. It did not follow the two dashes of the u-shaped line that were once included on Chinese maps, but the maritime border was negotiated in the same way such borders are negotiated elsewhere in the world. Bilateral negotiations undertaken by good legal experts are likely to have a highly beneficial effect on Sino-Vietnamese relations.

In my previous letter to Pham Quang Tuan, I mentioned that China’s judge at the Law of the Sea Tribunal in Hamburg, Gao Zhiguo, wrote already in 1994 that the u-shaped line should be understood as a claim to islands and the maritime zones they may generate. I also quoted Zou Keyuan who said in 2009 that this is the majority view among Chinese legal scholars. Pham Quang Tuan now thinks that China’s claim may have changed since 1994 and become more radical and less founded in international law. This is a wrong assumption. Gao Zhiguo did not express an official Chinese view in 1994, and the Chinese official position was at least as vague and ambiguous back then as it is today. If there has been change, it is that since China ratified the Law of the Sea Convention in 1996 many more Chinese legal experts have realized that the only possible interpretation of the u-shaped line is the one mentioned by Gao Zhiguo in 1994.

Pham Quang Tuan interprets China’s deliberate ambiguity as a sign that China has “something to hide.” I would be keen to know your opinion, Su Hao, on why China has failed to present its precise maritime zone claims in the South China Sea. Some possible reasons are: a) It is psychologically difficult for the Chinese leaders to present precise claims as long as so much of the Chinese public thinks that virtually the whole South China Sea belongs to China. Precise claims will by necessity have to be more modest and this might lead to adverse reactions from nationalist public opinion; b) There are different opinions among Chinese institutions and policy makers, and no one has managed to overcome these differences so as to establish a reasonable official view; c) The top leaders do not sufficiently understand the law of the sea, and do not listen to legal advice; d) It is realized that a resolution of the disputes in the South China Sea will be linked to the Taiwan issue; as long as Taiwan has not been united with the mainland, it is considered preferable to leave legal claims in the South China Sea in the vague; e) There may be an expectation that by getting others to fear that China intends to have sovereign rights in virtually the whole South China Sea, they will be more ready to yield in negotiations once China decides to negotiate on the basis of international law; f) There may be a mistaken belief that time works for China so once it becomes strong and forceful enough, the neighbouring countries will accept a solution on Chinese terms rather than international law. This mistaken belief is also held by many of China’s critics, such as Pham Quang Tuan, who says that “of course, its options will grow wider and wider as its strength grows.” If China becomes economically and militarily stronger but does not nurture friendship and sign agreements with its neighbours, it will see its options narrowing instead of widening. And friendship is impossible to combine with disregard for international law in such essential matters as the delimitation of exclusive economic zones in the South China Sea.

Some of these reasons, and maybe others, must be responsible for having got China to pursue a policy in the South China Sea that works against China’s own interests. It undermines China’s diplomatic efforts in the region, and could also hamper its economic relations with other regional countries. It leads these other countries to encourage the United States to play a stronger role in the region. And it delays exploration for oil and gas, resources that China would very much like to see developed within its close neighbourhood so as to reduce dependence on imports from countries far away. And it prevents the institution of a responsible fishery management regime.

I’m pretty sure that Sun Tsu would have seen how counter-productive the Chinese policy is. He would also have understood that it is impossible to take oil, gas and fish by force. Land may be occupied and held by armies. The sea  may not. You can sail there with your ships, but not control the sea in the way you control land. If you want to exploit the resources in the sea and under the seabed, you need international agreements.

And, Pham Quang Tuan, I’m not an apologist for China as you seem to say in your last paragraph. I do not hesitate to criticize China when I think it errs, and it certainly errs in the South China Sea. But I deeply appreciate the relative peace that China has kept with its neighbours since the last Sino-Vietnamese battle in 1988. China has also wisely negotiated land border agreements with all of its neighbours except India and Nepal, often at the cost of substantial concessions. Sun Tsu would recommend a similarly proactive approach in the South China Sea.

Pham Quang Tuan to Stein Tønnesson: 

I believe that only Chinese scholars can answer the questions that you raised, and resolve the differences between us, regarding China’s deeper intentions. Therefore I am looking forward to Prof Su Hao’s response.

Stein Tønnesson to Pham Quang Tuan:

Questions concerning “China’s deeper intentions” can perhaps only be resolved by Chinese scholars, but my concern is not so much China’s “intentions.” My concern is to establish what China can legitimately claim. When I say that China does not and cannot claim the whole area within the u-shaped line, my purpose is not to give a “benign” interpretation of China’s intentions, as you seem to think, but to clarify which parts of the South China Sea are under legitimate dispute and which are not. If you and others interpret Chinese ambiguous statements concerning the “sea area” within the u-shaped line to mean that China “claims” this whole area, then you actually do give a degree of recognition to an illegal Chinese claim. Not that you support it, of course, but you give it the status of a claim. This can then easily lead some people to conclude that no one should explore for oil and gas in “disputed territory” or that oil and gas there should be subject only to joint development.

My point is that China can only claim sovereign rights to areas that are within 200 nm of its coasts (or, if the natural continental shelf extends beyond that, to a maximum of 350 nm). In areas that are less than 200 nm from the Vietnamese coast and more than 200 nm from the coasts of any other state only Vietnam can claim any sovereign rights. You may not appreciate how important this is. Let me spell it out: If China uses force to disrupt Vietnamese oil exploration or fisheries in an area where only Vietnam can claim sovereign rights, as it did in June this year, then China does not act in defence of its own claim but undertakes a pure act of aggression. This grossly violates the UN Charter, and could therefore become a matter for the UN Security Council.

Pham Quang Tuan to Stein Tønnesson:

I have no dispute with your interpretation of legal limits to China’s claims, as outlined in the second paragraph.

However, I cannot agree with the logic of your first paragraph. To sound a warning is not the same as to “give a degree of recognition.” On the contrary, in international relations, keeping silent about potential illegal actions is tantamount to giving tacit support and encouragement for more and more unreasonable demands, until the situation becomes so unstable that war may break out. Chinese scholars and media often say that the lack of objection to China’s U-shaped line in past years is proof of its international acceptance.

Ignoring a threat will not make it go away. You called me a critic of China just because I sound alarms about the threat it may pose to its neighbours. On the contrary, if people and countries are aware of potential threats to peace at an early stage, they will raise their voices and the tide of opinion may force potential aggressors to have second thoughts.

Thus, if you wish to serve the cause of peace effectively, according to the objectives of your university department and, I am sure, your own personal objectives, I invite you to be more open and realistic about the threat that China’s excessive maritime claims is posing to peace. Above all, you MUST become concerned by China’s deeper intentions, because they are the real key to peace and war in the South China Sea.

Stein Tønnesson to Pham Quang Tuan:

1. Those who say that China “claims” the whole water area within the u-shaped line do not “sound a warning” but  reinforce the mistaken belief that it is possible to make such a claim. Legally informed people should sound a warning to China that by giving the impression that it is claiming something that cannot be claimed it undermines regional peace and also China’s best interests.

2. Are you sure that China has “deeper intentions” or that a whole country as such can have “deeper intentions”? Does Vietnam,  Japan or the United States have “deeper intentions”? A nation is not a scheming person, but a collection of a great many people and institutions with different interests and views. The Chinese leaders, as I see it, are not really sure what to do with their rising power, except that they want to preserve the stability of their regime and continue to have economic growth. There are in China some widespread and dangerous ideas that the nation shall make up for historical humiliation and start throwing its weight around, and also among some people a conception that the world was better at the time when China was in the middle – or at the top – of a tributary regional hierarchy. However, there are also many Chinese who see how much China has gained from immersing itself peacefully in the world during the last thirty years and understand how much China may continue to gain from keeping peace with its neighbours. When we sound warnings against the danger of the first kind of thinking, the people of the second kind are our natural allies.

Pham Quang Tuan to Stein Tønnesson:

1. While small nations must rely on international laws and institutions to protect their interests, big powers have more choices. They may choose to pressure for the laws to be changed, stretch the laws, or simply ignore them altogether. If they miscalculate, well it’s war. It is rather optimistic to say that they “cannot” or “do not” claim this and that just because it’s against the law.

2. Democratic countries like Japan and the US may not be able to have “deeper intentions” because their system is free and democratic and their policy deliberations are open. But one-party dictatorial/totalitarian countries like China and Vietnam certainly can. I don’t know what Vietnam’s (by that I mean the Vietnamese communist leadership’s) deeper intentions are, but I do know that, as a small country, it must eventually rely on diplomacy and international law for the protection of its rights.

Such limitations do not hold for China. The very fact that it has deliberately and steadfastly disguised its intentions (regarding the U-shaped line) means that it must have some deeper motivations. Of course we have to guess what it is, but an informed guess can be made from its actions. For example, making the U-shaped line mandatory in all maps (including Google maps), or pressuring scientists to insert it into scientific papers: the intended effect is to brainwash the Chinese people at large into believing that the South China Sea is rightfully theirs. Once that point is reached, possession of the South China Sea will not be just a deep intention, but will have become a national purpose.

You said that the Chinese leaders are concerned with maintaining the stability of their regime. That does not preclude territorial ambitions, because territorial expansion or the drumming up of territorial claims have always been a recourse for dictatorial regimes to maintain their stability.

I think China knows full well that territorial claims on the South China Sea beyond what the Law of the Sea Convention allows are illegal. That’s why it has never said what the U-shaped line means to them. Saying it would attract international condemnation. The very fact that they haven’t said it is a pretty sure sign that they harbour illegal intentions. If you think that it is important to teach them what is legal and what is not, that’s fine, but I think that’s hardly necessary – they already know international laws just as well as anybody else. For the sake of peace in the region, what they need to learn is that world opinion will be united against any attempts to transgress the law, and that is something I’m afraid you haven’t stressed enough.

Le Van Ut to Stein Tønnesson

I followed the discussion of professors Stein Tønnesson and Pham Quang Tuan. I agree with Professor Tuan Pham’s arguments about the U-shaped line.

Slightly edited in Uppsala, 15 November 2011

Stein Tønnesson

http://www.pcr.uu.se/research/eap/Blog/#tocjump_44032749406776295_0

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13 Comments »

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  2. […] Uy về đường lưỡi bò (Lê Văn Út) – Đây là bản dịch tiếng Việt của bài Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò do bạn Phạm Thanh Vân, nghiên cứu sinh ngành Sinh học cấu trúc tại Viện Nghiên […]

  3. […] về đường lưỡi bò (Lê Văn Út) – Đây là bản dịch tiếng Việt của bài Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò do bạn Phạm Thanh Vân, nghiên cứu sinh ngành Sinh học cấu trúc tại Viện Nghiên […]

  4. […] là bản dịch tiếng Việt của bài Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò do bạn Phạm Thanh Vân, nghiên cứu sinh ngành Sinh học cấu trúc tại Viện Nghiên […]

  5. […] là bản dịch tiếng Việt của bài Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò  do bạn Phạm Thanh Vân, nghiên cứu sinh ngành Sinh học cấu trúc tại Viện Nghiên […]

  6. […] Hạo – TQ. – Phát biểu lạ đời của hai học giả về đường lưỡi bò –  Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò –  Phóng viên của tạp chí lừng danh Nature sắp thăm và viết bài về Việt […]

  7. […] Hạo – TQ. – Phát biểu lạ đời của hai học giả về đường lưỡi bò  –  Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò  –  Phóng viên của tạp chí lừng danh Nature sắp thăm và viết bài về Việt […]

  8. […] Tô Hạo – TQ. – Phát biểu lạ đời của hai học giả về đường lưỡi bò – Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò – Phóng viên của tạp chí lừng danh Nature sắp thăm và viết bài về Việt Nam […]

  9. […] Hạo – TQ. – Phát biểu lạ đời của hai học giả về đường lưỡi bò  –  Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò  –  Phóng viên của tạp chí lừng danh Nature sắp thăm và viết bài về Việt […]

  10. 10
    Năm Darwin Says:

    Thật hay, Stein Tønnesson seems to be naive as many scholars who live and work in a peaceful and democratic environment.

    Nhưng tại sao không có học giả nào trong nước cùng lên tiếng trong Hội nghị đó?. Một vị học giả VN sống ở nước ngoài vẫn lo lắng đấu tranh cho tổ quốc mặc dù “I don’t know what Vietnam’s (by that I mean the Vietnamese communist leadership’s) deeper intentions”. Thấy xót xa quá!.

  11. […] Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò (TS. Lê văn Út-Phần Lan)>>>>Phóng viên của tạp chí lừng danh Nature sắp thăm và viết bài về Việt Nam […]

  12. […] Hạo – TQ. – Phát biểu lạ đời của hai học giả về đường lưỡi bò  –  Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò  –  Phóng viên của tạp chí lừng danh Nature sắp thăm và viết bài về Việt […]

  13. […] Phát biểu lạ đời của hai học giả về đường lưỡi bò  –  Tranh luận với học gia Na Uy về đường lưỡi bò  –  Phóng viên của tạp chí lừng danh Nature sắp thăm và viết bài về Việt […]


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