China’s likely response if Vietnam takes legal action

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Laura Zhou, Beijing Bureau, South China Morning Post, asked:

Over the past week there have been more open discussions in China about how China should react if Vietnam follows the Philippines and sues China over the SCS disputes, and Chinese experts, in the articles widely circulated in social media, said China should change its “three no’s” strategy and answer the lawsuit while taking countermeasures outside the courtroom even though the two countries share similar ideology. Q1- How do you assess the possibility that Hanoi would sue Beijing over the SCS dispute?

Carl Thayer, of the Thayer Consultancy, replied:

Vietnam has had contingency plans dating back more than six years to take legal action against China over their disputes in the South China Sea. This has taken the form of wide consultations with experts in international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in particular. Vietnam reportedly has prepared draft legal arguments that are reviewed and revised from time to time.

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