By Carlyle A. Thayer
Assessment of China’s latest moves in the South China Sea.
Q1. In your assessment, what is behind China’s move into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf at Vanguard Bank? ANSWER: For the past three years China has been applying pressure on Vietnam, including threats of force, to stop Vietnam’s oil and gas exploration activities in the waters around Vanguard Bank, particularly in July 2017 and March 2018.
China argues that Vietnam is violating understandings reached by high-level leaders.