Friday, February 24, 2012

Vietnam requested China to cancel projects at Paracel

Vietnam has undisputed sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson announced on Feb. 23.
Spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi answered reporters’ questions on Vietnam ’s reaction as Chinese press carried news on the activities of some Chinese ministries and sectors in the East Sea so far this year.

The Chinese news covered the Chinese Transport Minister’s visit to Hoang Sa island to examine a patrol ship and the visits to Phu Lam island, Hoang Sa archipelago by the head of the Chinese sports department, to view the implementation of sporting activities.

The Chinese press also reported that the Nanhai institute for environmental research and oceanic projects conducted a project on the survey, examination, analysis and assessment of changes in typical islands in Hoang Sa archipelago. They also quoted the head of the Chinese Nanhai fishing department saying that China had plans for the construction of a fishing establishment on Phu Lam island, Hoang Sa archipelago and a wharf and a fishing services establishment in Truong Sa.

The Vietnamese spokesperson affirmed that: “Every activity in the areas of the two archipelagoes without Vietnam’s permission is a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty, making the situation in the East Sea more complicated and tense, contrasting with the Agreement on Basic Principles Guiding the Settlement of Sea-related Issues signed between the two countries, and contrary to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), as well as commitments to ensure stability and peace at sea”.

“Vietnam asks China to immediately stop these actions and cancel the projects violating Vietnam’s sovereignty, while cooperating with relevant parties to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea and strictly implement the DOC,” Nghi said .-VNA

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New dangers facing dictatorial states

Botswana women flaunting to be chosen by the King as concubines 
Why is dictatorship acceptable to people ?

All moral lessons of the ancient East or West always say that dictatorial regimes of any kind are bad, and so sooner or later be put down by the people .There are available evidence to prove this rule-like argument in various cases of collapses of obsolete states which were outdated throughout the history of mankind, most recently the cases of Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Mubarak of Egypt and Libya's Qaddafi. But there is another fact that many institutional dictatorships seem remaining in power for very long even with respect and admiration from the people of their own country . That was the case of the kingdom states like Bhutan, Nepal on top of the Himalaya or Botswana deep inside the southern Africa continent as well as in modern political institutional states where poverty always clinging to people like Zimbabwe and North Korea. Those who witnessed North Korean people bitterly lamenting the death of "great leader" Kim Jong-Il recently may not believe it's real tears. But whether real or fake crying, this spectacle is a common behavior in the community of the dictatorial states. It shows the dictatorship still exists even longer than some non-dictatorial institutions.
Korean people crying in grief for Kim Jon Il
So, it is not necessary that any dictators would have to be spilled by rising mass . And this shows quite clearly in the case of Saddam Husein and Qaddafi during their rule as well as the cases of present North Korea, Iran, etc ..., where the dictatorship is still supported by people because of some political, religious reasons or simply due to conceal information. Actually most of the kingdom regimes dominated by hereditary or dictatorial regimes do not encounter strong resistance from the population, and even enjoy more cult and admiration by people than what the heads of democratic countries receive from their people.

Outsiders are often easily conclude that it is due to the suppression and conceal information. This conclusion is not wrong, but only partly true, because people are always dominated by mental confusion, they are hidden under the guise of morality, beliefs and interests; man's faith is different, sometimes contradictory. Even totalitarian concept itself is not necessarily understood the same way by different people; the concept of dictatorship or democracy is relative; democracy in one country might not exactly what other countries want; and dictatorships sometimes proved necessary in certain circumstances . These constitute factors for the fertile ground for totalitarian dictatorships to be born and survive. They exist in many different forms, maybe publicly, openly, even declared; sometimes disguised in cosmetic faces or political or religious mysticism. The whole point of them is the cult of personal entrenchment and corruption despite the benefit of the people. To survive they often use propaganda tricks and hypocrisy associated with the suppression tactics.

Trend to use external intervention to overthrow tyranny and its consequences

Looking back we can see most cases collapse of the recent dictators in the Middle East and North Africa e are thankful to the large-scale intervention of foreign troops. It is a overt, even gross intervention one country or a group of countries. Given the realization that is it is the the price dictators have to pay, but objectively speaking, most cases of military intervention from outside in recent years have led to long devastating wars, and the main victims are the people in countries under intervention .

Maybe its is now still early for the world to sit back and seriously thinks about the questions mentioned above. The immediate cause can be seen from the result of globalization trends that have changing the whole international landscape by opening up linkages with isolated kingdoms or backward regions.It is the boom of information technology that has created the direct effects helping people to communicate quickly and enhancing trans-national knowledge on a global scale by means of Internet that can never be blocked by borders or political regimes . In other words, dividing walls of information between the nations has been totally broken down. That is the basis for rapid linkages of formation between individuals and political groups from within a national dictatorship with the outside world and creating circumstances for outside forces to come in and support. Such way of interference seems to find reasons and are welcomed simply because it can quickly demolish a dictatorship. That's what was going on when the U.S. and UN approved measures using war to overthrow dictatorship regimes of sovereign nations as we saw recently in the Middle East and North Africa. Given knowledge that dictatorship is evil and should be removed as soon as possible, and prior to the consolidation of their hold on, external intervention is needed. But every thing has at least two sides of it. Firstly, we must reaffirm the basic principles of international law that every military intervention from outside into the internal affairs of a sovereign state is illegal. Recent experience has shown clearly enough bad effects for the intervened countries where only fighting interest groups might benefited somehow while the vast majority of people are victimized suffering incalculable consequences. In this regard, we should also reiterate that the principle of "Revolution is the cause of the masses" is always true. External intervention can only be acceptable with a genuine call of the mass of a country . In other words, no matter of bad or good, early or late, success or failure, let the peoples to decide their destiny. But unfortunately, it is a vague concept easily confuse between the real mass movement and the interest group or racial or religious groups deliberately taking advantage of external intervention. Any intervention on the basis of such "confusion" must end up in failure to do away with the dictatorship root but only just replace one dictators by another or cause a civil war and povarage, even at risk of losing independence and sovereignty of the intervened states. This risk is shown quite clearly in the case of Iraq after Saddam Hussein, Libya after Qaddafi and both Egypt and Afghanistan as well as other countries during the process of the so-called "color revolution".
The risk of prolonged civil war in Libya
In summary, totalitarian, undemocratic and dictatorship of any forms must be removed to pave the way for people to a prosperity and happiness. But how to demolish them without heavy consequences for the country and people is another problem that requires our modern world to think about. This is a lesson to all totalitarian states. The most relevant lesson is that they could fall into unrest and civil war, even loss of independence. Not only the common people but mainly those dictators who must be aware of this. They should know that today people have better access to understanding and enlightenment about their legitimate rights to the insurgents; and insurgent may call for external intervention, like it or not. Therefore, the less bad solution for them is to change or transfer of power when it is not too late. /.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Evolving U.S. Footprint in Southeast Asia

09:44 GMT, February 6, 2012 Over the past two weeks, U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta and his key officers, including Admiral Robert F. Willard, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, have actively explained details of President Barack Obama’s January 5 announcement about the new defense budget and its implications for the Asia Pacific. Southeast Asian counterparts want to clearly understand U.S. intentions so they can calibrate China’s response and be able to translate joint plans with the United States into their domestic political discourse.


As the United States takes steps to fulfill Obama’s promise of a policy “pivot” toward Asia, U.S. policymakers should invest ample time briefing colleagues throughout the Asia-Pacific region regarding U.S. intentions. In so doing, it will be vital to point out that the enhanced U.S. presence in the region is part of a comprehensive strategy that includes robust economic and political engagement. In other words, the United States must be clear that its Asia-Pacific strategy is not a security-dominated approach but instead a broad and long-term commitment. The United States is reemphasizing long-standing security and economic commitments to the region and adding new political focus.


Balance is the most important ingredient in this recipe. If Asian countries are not convinced that the United States intends to step up its game in terms of economic competitiveness, they will not embrace the security aspect of the “pivot.” Specific actions in this regard are important and include the following: continued progress and leader-level focus on trade, specifically the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations; talking to Americans about the contribution of Asian trade to U.S. economic recovery and long-term growth; welcoming investment from Asia; demonstrating a willingness to table economic and financial issues at the East Asia Summit (EAS); and organizing presidential- and/or cabinet-level business missions by U.S. CEOs to the region. Understanding these linkages and broadening the talking points of senior U.S. officials is important and should become a mantra supported by actions.


Southeast Asia needs the United States to be clear about its intentions. It needs to understand that the U.S. endgame is to have good relations with China. An effective and sustainable grand strategy for the United States should aim to convince China that it can meet its energy, food, and water security goals and expand its economic might within regional security and trade frameworks.

The region is anxious because it does not know what China wants. It does not know how China will define itself in the coming decades. Economic power and growth are welcome, but using that new muscle to try to define sovereignty in disputed regions such as the South China Sea, China-India border, and elsewhere has raised alarm among China’s neighbors. Looking ahead to this year’s Chinese leadership transition, even the best China experts cannot say for sure which elements will define the country’s new posture in 2013 and beyond.

Paradoxically, while Southeast Asia’s uncertainty about China has motivated countries to encourage a more proactive U.S. role in the region, it also heightens Southeast Asian concerns that U.S. reengagement not be construed as trying to contain or oppose China.

Southeast Asia is now convinced that the United States is not in a spiraling economic decline: signs of recovery have encouraged leaders and policymakers that the U.S. model continues to work and produce results. On the other hand, fear of a U.S.–China condominium, or “G-2,” has also been put to rest. The United States and China have normalized and stabilized relations, but they are clearly not yet aligned on a preponderance of global issues. What no one in Southeast Asia wants is direct competition in a nouveau Cold War between the United States and China. Fortunately, both Beijing and Washington seem to agree on that point.


Straight talk and following through on what is said is tactically the winning formula for the United States. Strategically, the United States must continue to deepen its relationships around Asia. It has to listen to and understand what traditional and new partners want and need. That posture is being reflected in the new defense approach in Asia. Admiral Willard has said that the focus is on “rotations, not bases,” signifying a lighter but likely more omnipresent footprint for the United States in Asia.

That is a smart and sustainable approach if executed well and consistently. Asia will likely see a new U.S. presence “inside the horizon” in the next decades—sharing facilities, emphasizing interoperability, conducting joint exercises, and, importantly, providing public goods such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Expect this effort not only to include treaty allies such as Australia, the Philippines, and Japan, but to expand to Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and possibly Indonesia in the future.

The end goal is to engage China in these efforts. A significant benchmark would be to see China accept the invitation that has been tabled several times in the past to participate in regional exercises such as Cobra Gold. Building trust and expanding relationships with China’s military is a long-term goal for the United States. Doing so will put our partners in Southeast Asia at ease and provide a possible double dividend of peace and prosperity in the world’s most dynamic region.

By Ernest Z. Bower
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

(Ernest Z. Bower is a senior adviser and director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.)
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