China still building islands in disputed waters: think-tank

VietNamNet Bridge - Ta Pa Mount in Nui To Commune of Tri Ton District, An Giang Province is one of the seven mountains of the mysterious That Son range. Bay Nui or That Son is a group of seven mountains located in the southwest delta, in the two districts of Tri Ton and Tinh Bien of An Giang Province, including Ta Pa with distinct beauty, which is the combination of natural and artificial features. Ta Pa has wild and mysterious beauty. On peaks of less than 200 m of this mountain is a large Khmer temple and a lake surrounded by cliffs. The high cliffs of Ta Pa have many odd shapes. On top of the mountain is a crater with emerald water, called Ta Pa Lake. The lake is the trace of stone mining activities, with a depth of up to 17 m. Though it is an artificial work, it has become an attractive landscape, attracting many visitors. From Ta Pa peak visitors can see the panorama of Tri Ton Town and the neighboring areas. Ta Pa Lake is surrounded by tall cliffs, and the water is so clear that one can see the lake bottom. Mount Ta Pa likes a watercolor picture. This place has fresh air, beautiful scenery, and an ancient Buddhist temple as well as friendly people. Photo: Hachi8/VNE Pha Le... [read more]

PANO – An international conference "The construction of artificial islands in the East Sea and its impacts on peace, security, economic and trade development in the region" took place in Ho Chi Minh City on July 25th. Professor Mai Hong Quy, Rector of Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, held that though nations in the region and the rest of the world have different views on the construction of artificial islands in the East Sea, this activity negatively affects the peace, security, economy, trade, and freedom of navigation and aviation in the region and the world. He hoped that the workshop would clarify the regulations of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) on building artificial works at sea, as well as the impacts of Chinese construction activity in the East Sea. The seminar gathered 200 domestic and foreign scholars and researchers, including Professor of International Law Erik Franckx, member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Translated by Pham Huy... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – The peace in the East Sea depends on the goodwill and political responsibility of related parties. The principle that is appropriate to apply in the current situation is “simple matters are solved firstly, followed by complicated ones.” Vietnamese naval soldiers on Truong Sa Archipelago. Dr. Tran Cong Truc, former chief of the Government Border Committee, pointed out five initiatives to deal with disputes in the East Sea, in his book entitled “Vietnam’s Hallmarks in the East Sea.” Disputes in the East Sea are extremely complicated and are latent hazard which can cause tension, conflict and instability in the region and the world. To basically solve the disputes, many scholars and politicians have raised valuable initiatives. Below are remarkable initiatives: Firstly, having a common consent on the way of explanation and application of standards to define the waters and continental shelf being of sovereignty, sovereignty rights and jurisdiction of coastal countries around the East Sea. Secondly, being unanimous in the waters and overlapped continental shelf which are formed based on coastal countries’ claims under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982. Thirdly, being unanimous in the waters and continental shelf of Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands, as off-shore archipelagos, not archipelagic states because islands there are very small, which are unsuitable for human life and do not have economic life. Fourthly, having common consent on legal principles and international practice applied for defining the rights to acquire territory over Hoang Sa…... [read more]

Cat Ba Amatina project - a complex including a coastal villa resort, yacht harbour, casino, hotels and other facilities - is bedecked by the incredibly beautiful landscape of Ha Long Bay - the Wonder of Natural World - and Cat Ba Island - the World Biosphere Reserve. This project, located on the Jade Island - the most beautiful landscape in northern Vietnam, is a pioneer in tourism property and is expected to create motivation for this sector. Cat Ba Amatina project §Construction area: 172.27 ha §General construction density: 17.23 % §Average height: 5 floors §Investors can register to invest in following items: 5-star hotel, marina, casino, service zone, and theme park, etc. Investor: Vinaconex Investment and Tourism Development Joint Stock Company (Vinaconex - ITC) 1st Floor, 17T5 Building, Trung Hoa - Nhan Chinh Urban Area, Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi City Tel: + (84) (4) 62815347 ; Fax: + (84) (4) 62815349 Email: [email protected] Hotline: + 84-988969697 covers on a total area of 304 ha, including 172 ha for construction and 132 ha for a sustainable development zone (this is a green buffer zone reserved specifically for the project, and no individuals and organisations are allowed to use or build any artificial works on it). The project is located next to the main road leading to the centre of Cat Ba tourist town - the most beautiful island in the Gulf of Tonkin. Like a rhythmic melody of mountains and forests, the overall purpose of Cat Ba Amatina design is to…... [read more]

Ke Go Lake Ke Go Lake is in Cam My commune, Cam Xuyen district, Ha Tinh province, 70 km from Vinh city in the south.Ke Go Lake is an artificial lake shaped from Rao Cai river, which is the convergence of hundreds of brooks from Truong Son range. On March 26th 1976, the construction on the lake was officially ground-broken. After 11 months and six days, the construction was completed and put into use. The lake is 29 km long with its bed area of 30 sq.m and water holding capacity of 345 million cu.m. It is 8 m high above and its water level is 37 m. The water from the lake travels on 1,000 km trenches into ten thousands of fields in districts of Thach Ha, Cam Xuyen. 11,811 ha of natural forests and 261 ha of cultivated forests surround the lake. The forests involved in more than 40 families, 300 arbour species and various scare species such as pheasants, black lemurs, elephants, and horn pheasants, especially pheasants with black crest. Weather is cool all year round in Ke Go area. The water is pure and blue. Tourists rowing on boats could observe water flows pouring down the lake from the mountain. At night, the space becomes mysterious because of the wave sound, wind from forests and voice of animals mingled together, etc. The aforementioned place-names are among the famous tourists sites in Ha Tinh. Nevertheless, it is possible to say that they are the representatives for the…... [read more]

HCMC - Dai Nam Joint Stock Corp. will open a huge tourism complex in the southern province of Binh Duong this Thursday after nearly ten years' construction, becoming the largest-ever tourism area in Vietnam, the investor said on Saturday. Huynh Uy Dung, chairman cum general director of the company, told a press meeting at the complex that it would open the first phase on 261 hectares of the 450-hectare complex Lac Canh Dai Nam Van Hien project on Binh Duong Boulevard in Thu Dau Mot Town. The tourist - cultural - historical area is located in Thu Dau Mot Town, about 40km northwest of HCMC. The sprawling complex will include man-made lakes, rivers and mountains as well as a wide range of recreational facilities suitable to people of all ages. Dung said that his company has invested VND1,800 billion, or some US$110 million, in the first phase of the project. First facilities available include a 9-hectare temple area, a square, food and game areas, and a 8.2-hectare open zoo that is home to rhinoceros, white lions, tigers, elephants, bears, ostriches, chamois and other animals. Upon arriving at the complex, visitors will first see the Dai Nam Van Hien Temple, one of the most important structures in the park. The temple contains historical exhibits and is used as a place of worship. Exhibits of Vietnam's various dynasties from Ngo to Nguyen are also on display there. It is also called Tu An Temple (Temple of Four Blessings), a reminder of the…... [read more]

Binh Duong cultural park offers tourists, locals global spectacles (24-08-2007) BINH DUONG — Historic images of Viet Nam's 64 provinces and cities, replicas of the wonders of the world, a zoo, and a colourful natural space are all on offer in the Dai Nam tourism zone in the southern province of Binh Duong. Dai Nam Tourist - Cultural - Historical Zone is located in Thu Dau Mot Town, about 40km northwest from HCM City. Covering an area of about 450 hectares, the park is expected to be the biggest park and tourist destination in the country by 2010. The park, built to international standards, contains man-made lakes, rivers and mountains as well as a wide range of recreational activities that appeal to people of all ages. Replicas of the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Angkor Wat, Thailand's Golden Pagoda, and the Kremlin are also on display. Upon arriving at Dai Nam, visitors first see the Dai Nam Quoc Tu Temple, one of the most important structures in the park. The first storey of the temple contains historical exhibits and the second is used as a place of worship. Exhibits of Viet Nam's various dynasties from Ngo to Nguyen are also presented here. Dai Nam Quoc Tu is also called Tu An Temple (Temple of Four Gratitudes), a reminder of the origins of the Vietnamese and the people who helped form the country, including the Buddha, the Hung Kings, the Au Co Mother and President Ho Chi Minh. Surrounded by…... [read more]

Rex Tillerson has had to make several tricky diplomatic tours since becoming U.S. secretary of state. He wrapped up his latest, this time to Southeast Asia, on Wednesday. With stops in the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia, Tillerson’s goal was to assure regional leaders that the Trump administration cares about this strategically important area which - if massed collectively - has the sixth largest economy in the world. Yet far from bringing the parties closer together, the trip was overshadowed by developments in North Korea, and only underscored the fact that the agendas of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries - Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam – are not completely aligned with those of the White House. While some officials of ASEAN members acknowledged concerns about North Korea, they also cited concerns about trade relations with the United States. “We haven’t really discussed that among ourselves,” said Philippine acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo of the U.S. call to minimize relations with Pyongyang. Before Trump’s election, the Obama administration supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal to emphasize its regional commitment and also to push back on China’s growing power and presence, which is a concern for many ASEAN states. But Trump pulled out of that initiative shortly after taking office and has offered no alternatives. On the political front too, the administration has only limited affinity with ASEAN allies. The latter wanted to give priority to a broad range of issues such…... [read more]

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov (Source: Bangkok (VNA/NNT) – Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov paid an official visit to Thailand on August 9-10. On August 10, Minister Lavrov had a bilateral meeting with his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai, followed by a joint press conference by both ministers and a viewing of an exhibition on the history of Thai – Russian relations on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of Thai – Russian diplomatic relations held at the Ministry. Lavrov then paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha at the Government House and later signed the book of condolences in remembrance of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Grand Palace. In both the meetings between the Russian minister and the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Thailand, apart from following up on the outcome of the Prime Minister’s official visit to the Russian Federation last May, both sides also had fruitful discussion on important issues of mutual interests, such as increasing bilateral trade by five fold by 2020 from 2 billion USD to 10 billion USD, Russia’s purchase of more Thai agricultural products, enhanced cooperation in energy, science, technology and security, promotion of Russian investment in Thailand’s S-Curve industries in areas of Russian expertise, for example, aerospace, digital and robotics, in support of Thailand 4.0 policy, especially Russian investment in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project. Russia was invited to fully utilise…... [read more]

A U.S. Navy destroyer carried out a "freedom of navigation operation" on Thursday, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials told Reuters. The sea is called East Sea in Vietnam. The operation came as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and could complicate efforts to secure a common stance. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals. China has territorial disputes with its neighbors over the area. It was the third "freedom of navigation operation" or "fonop" conducted during Trump's presidency. Neither China's defense ministry nor its foreign ministry immediately responded to a request for comment. The operation was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, and comes as Trump is seeking China's cooperation to rein in North Korea. Tensions have risen recently after North Korea carried out two nuclear tests last year and two ICBM tests last month, prompting a strong round of U.N. sanctions which angered Pyongyang who threatened to teach the United States a "severe lesson". Trump in turn responded by warning North Korea it would face "fire and fury" if it further threatened the United States. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued a stark warning to North…... [read more]

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