Vietnam Marine Guard and Chinese Coast Guard
If Hanoi files an official complaint in its South China Sea dispute with Beijing, it could lose more than it win.
Pundits are predicting that Vietnam will soon file a complaint under the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) dispute-settlement mechanism regarding China’s actions in the South China Sea.
As an indication that an official complaint is imminent, they point to Vietnam’s recent nomination of four arbiters and four conciliators as all ratifiers of UNCLOS are entitled to do and many others have done.
Some say that if Vietnam did so and won, “this outcome would be severe blow to China’s prestige and international standing.” That may be so, but the legal obstacles and political blowback from China could be far more costly to Vietnam than to China.
In 2019, China’s Haiyang Dizhi 8 (Marine Geology 8
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