Want China Times
By: Staff Reporter
In his recent article for Washington-based National Interest magazine, Gregory B.
Poling, a fellow with the Sumitro Chair for Southeast Asia Studies and the Pacific Partners Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies based in Washington, said that despite Vietnam haing 48 outposts in the Spratly islands as opposed to China’s eight, Beijing should still be considered the true aggressor in the region.
Yet in his June 18 article for Tokyo-based online current affairs magazine the Diplomat, Greg Austin, a researcher from the New York City-based EastWest Institute for the Diplomat, openly described Vietnam as the biggest regional aggressor. The author added that Vietnam has doubled the number of features it now occupies since 1996. Back then, Vietnam controlled only 24 features in the Spratlys, Austin said.
Poling did state that Vietnam is the only claimant engaging in land reclamations after the signing of 2002 Declaration of Conducts for Parties in the South China Sea, besides China. He also said that Hanoi’s move in the region had forced Ashton Carter, the US Secretary of Defense, to call on all sides to refrain from further land reclamations during his meeting with Phung Quang Thanh, the Vietnamese defense minister. [FULL STORY]