China seems to be racking up opposition as it makes more moves towards territorial expansion in the South China Sea. This time, the country is calling for Vietnam for stronger ties while also challenging President Barack Obama to come up with a solution over the rising tensions.
China is urging for deeper ties with Vietnam’s military amidst concerns on of its efforts in the South China Sea region. China’s defense minister said that Chinese and Vietnamese militaries should work better in terms of communication, friendship and exchanges during the official’s visit to Hanoi. The two countries previously were engaged in a heated exchange following Beijing’s oil rig issue along Vietnam’s coast. After a series of anti-China riots, both countries agreed on high-level visits.
Defence Minister Chang Wanquan said that China’s and Vietnam’s militaries should “increase high level exchanges and strategic communication, increase friendly feelings, deepen border defense exchanges and practical cooperation on U.N. peacekeeping, military academic research and the defense industry,” as reported by Reuters. The official did not mention anything about the South China Sea but the ministry did confirm that China’s South China Sea fleet, Shen Jinlong, was a participant.
In the same way that China is trying to foster relations in the Asia Pacific region, comes a challenging task for US President Barack Obama to address mounting tensions in the region. With the upcoming meeting of Obama with China’s Xi Jinping, there are low expectations that anything substantial will be accomplished. Still, there has to be something that can be done. “Offers of reassurance that restraint on new actions by China will lead to restraint on new significant or permanent military deployments by the U.S.” The New York Times quoted American analyst, Douglas H. Paal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A show of restraint on both sides will be helpful to the situation.