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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                   17  September 2011

Vietnam asks for restraint in East Timor Sea

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Vietnam has asked parties to refrain from actions that could complicate the situation in the East Sea and instead contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the region, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry's spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said Friday.

Nghi made the statement in response to reporters' queries about Vietnam's reaction to information saying that China had recently sent a 1,000 ton fishing boat to the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos to assist with aquaculture and fishing and about 500 fishing vessels regularly operated in the area; and other information about China opposing India's co-operation with Vietnam in exploring oil and gas at Lot 127 and Lot 128 in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone.

"Viet Nam affirms its incontrovertible sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagos. All activities of parties in the area without Viet Nam's acceptance are violations of its sovereignty."

He said Vietnam affirmed that cooperation projects between Viet Nam and foreign partners in oil and gas, including projects at Lot 127 and Lot 128, located in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, completely belonged within the rights of sovereignty and jurisdiction, in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and international practice and reality, and multilateral and bilateral agreements signed by Viet Nam, he said.

"Objections against cooperation between Viet Nam and foreign partners in Viet Nam's continental shelf and 200-nautical mile economic exclusive zone are legally groundless and invalid," Nghi said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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