Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 18:19 | SYDNEY
Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 18:19 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: South China Sea


Sam Roggeveen


26 September 2008 15:25

Carl Thayer responds to Malcolm Cook's post about the Spratly Islands:

The real issue of concern over the South China Sea is China’s construction of the Sanya naval base on Hainan island and the linkage between the airfield on Woody Island in the Paracels, plus facilities on Fiery Cross Reef and a more or less permanent presence on Mischief Reef off the Philippines. Vietnam and China have managed any potential conflict via a Joint Steering Committee as well as high level visits by party leaders. The last Steering Committee meeting in January set up a hot line and improved communications procedures among security and defence officials. China has applied pressure not only on BP but Enron and other international companies contemplating assisting Vietnam in the development of its maritime zone. These companies’ commercial interests in China have been threatened by Chinese diplomats.