DECLARATION OF CONCERNED VIETNAMESE WORLDWIDE REGARDING CHINA’S CURRENT QUIET INVASION OF VIETNAM
For over two thousand years, China has pursued a policy of annexing Vietnam. The Han, the Tang, the Song, the Yuan, the Ming, and the Qing dynasties all undertook full-scale invasions of Vietnam, but Vietnam managed to eventually prevail over the invaders. However, recent events have shown that again China has undertaken a quiet but comprehensive invasion of Vietnam. The latest attempts of China to annex Vietnam involved:
1. 1974: the naked take-over of the Paracel Islands after a brief naval battle.
2. 1979: the land grabbing in the northern border region after a brief and bloody border war during which more than tens of thousands died on each side.
3. 1988: the occupation of part of the Spratly Islands after another brief naval battle.
4. Since 2007 to date: the presence of “mining” companies in the strategic central highlands of Vietnam.
5. The strangling of the economy of Vietnam, with the aim of making Vietnam too weak economically to resist the Chinese domination.
The Paracel and Spratly Islands in the East Sea have been part of Vietnam for centuries. We have legal and historical documents as well as maps to prove our claims. Only very recently when vast oil and gas deposits were discovered in the area did the Chinese brazenly claim the islands were theirs under the absurd doctrine of Cow’s Tongue (the Paracel and Spratly Islands are like the tongue of a cow extending from their Hainan Island!), and subsequently sent their naval forces to the area to back up their expansionist claims.
Recently Chinese naval forces have increased their bullying and unlawful acts of aggression against Vietnamese fishermen who ply their trade in the waters traditionally considered part of Vietnam. There have been numerous incidents in which Vietnamese fishing boats have been rammed, shot at and quite a number of Vietnamese fishermen were either killed from gunshot wounds or detained for large amount of ransom money. (http://www.rfa.org/vietnamese/in_depth/SouthChinaSea-blood-and-tears-TVan-07172009113941.htmlhttp://www.rfa.org/vietnamese/VietnameseNews/vietnamnews/Vietnamese-fishermen-detained-by%20chinese-sea-patrol-forced-to-pay-fine-insistently-07182009121523.html)(http://mil.news.sina.com.cn/2009-07-02/0844557400.html). (http://www.rfa.org/vietnamese/in_depth/another-Vietnamese-fisherboat-hit-by-a-strange-boat-on-ChinaSea-07152009103037.html)(http://www.rfa.org/vietnamese/in_depth/9-fishermen-from-ship-hitting-in-south-china-sea-QNhu-07172009143806.html)
China’s territorial designs on Vietnam did not stop at sea. China forced the current Vietnamese government to give up land at the border and set up new demarcation posts to the advantage of China.
China also forced Vietnam to permit Chinese mining companies to move into the strategic highlands in Central Vietnam. These mining companies ostensibly do mining work, but with a labor force consisting of tens of thousands of Chinese men of military age and their workplace being off limits even to the local Vietnamese authorities, their presence has caused deep concerns to the Vietnamese public across all walks of life. Retired General Vo Nguyen Giap, ex-Minister of Defense, and thus a man who should know about military matters, has publicly written three letters of concern to the highest Vietnamese authorities.
Further, China is pursuing an economic policy which is designed to strangle the economy of Vietnam. On top of flooding Vietnam with inexpensive consumer products, China has encouraged a massive smuggling program into Vietnam at the northern border. The result is that the Vietnamese business production has been weakened in the last few years. In addition, with the aim of destroying the rice-production capability of Vietnam in the south, China has plans for building a total of eight dams in the Langcang Jiang, the upstream of the Mekong River, which is located in Yunnan, China. Three of these dams have been completed. These dams have altered the natural flow of the river and resulted in the loss of 75% of fish population in the basin area. The rice production and agricultural activities in the Mekong Delta---the world’s second largest rice-producing region--- are being adversely affected.
We strongly protest these expansionist and unlawful acts of aggression of China against Vietnam.
We demand China:
1. Stop all expansionist and unlawful acts of aggression in the East Sea.
2. Release immediately all detained Vietnamese fishermen and their boats and repay in full the costs for the damages to the boats and the values of the confiscated catches.
3. Stop building more dams on the Langcang Jiang. Pre-treat industrial discharge and preserve water quality in the Langcang Jiang in order to prevent the Mekong River from becoming an open sewer system for the Yunnan mining industrial giants.
4. Resolve land, islands, sea disputes with Vietnam through diplomacy and arbitration, not though acts of bullying of a nuclear-armed power. These acts only increase the instability not only in the East Sea but also the whole Southeast Asia which is in need of political stability for economic development.
We, the undersigned, the concerned Vietnamese worldwide are reacting to the events in the East Sea, in the highlands and China-Vietnam border areas with increasing concern and asking for the support of the international community in our struggle to avoid being assimilated as what have happened in Xinjiang and Tibet. We are calling the world attention to China’s current quiet invasion of Vietnam and pointing out China’s long-standing policy of annexation of Vietnam.
We are asking Human Rights organizations to look into the current abuses and killings of the unarmed Vietnamese fishermen by the Chinese naval forces, and vigorously demand China to respect basic human rights with regard to the Vietnamese fishermen they are detaining unlawfully and holding for ransoms.
(1) The map showing various sites of attack which are clearly in the waters hitherto considered part of Vietnamese territory.
(2) Some photos of Vietnamese fishermen being terrorized by the Chinese vessels and their naval personnel.
(3) Letters of Vo Nguyen Giap:
(4) Submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelf
If you agree with declaration, please sign up by sending your name
and those of your like-minded relatives and friends
(please include name of city and country)
to the following email address:
We are sending our declaration with a list of signers
to The United Nations and elected officials.
We are designing a website where we keep the declaration, the list of signers, and all relevant information concerning our fight to keep Vietnam from the hands of the expansionist and annexing-minded Chinese.
Thank you for your consideration.
Long live Vietnam!
Organizing Committee of Save Vietnam from China Campaign
Ngo Khoa Ba (MBA), Houston, TX, the United States
Le Quang Long (B.E.), Auckland, New Zealand
Nguyen Hung (B.E.), Sydney, Australia