For the last two years, a quiet showdown has played out over the East Sea. This little-known body of water is of vast strategic importance: Fully one-third of the world's maritime trade traverses the East Sea, and some optimistic estimates of its untapped stores of oil and natural gas would make it a second Persian Gulf. The East Sea is also a major highway linking the oil fields of the Middle East and the factories of East Asia, with more than 80 percent of China's oil imports (and large percentages for Japan and South Korea as well) flowing over its waters. As influential Asia-watcher Robert D. Kaplan has put it, the South China Sea's importance to the region makes it the "Asian Mediterranean." Due to these waters' importance, several countries -- Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam -- claim sovereignty over part of these waters. Yet China claims rights of sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, as detailed in the "9-dash line" included in its submission to … [Read more...] about Three rounds of geopolitical intrigue in East Sea
Round world 80 days
Many of us don’t like meetings, as many may become a good place to fall asleep. But a recent meeting of a joint committee of the ministries of finance and industry-trade in Hanoi turned out to be very interesting, catching the attention of millions of Vietnamese people, including the press. >> Ministries OK 3rd fuel price hike in August … [Read more...] about How can a meeting save the day?
The local gold price has lost its VND42 million threshold again following the latest trend in the international markets., on Friday morning slipped VND340,000 a tael day on day to VND41.55 million a tael and VND41.7 million a tael for bid and ask, respectively. The bid and ask prices of SJC gold bullions in Ho Chi Minh City followed SJC’s official quotation, while the respective prices in Hanoi were at VND41.5 million a tael and VND41.72 million a teal. Compared to last week, the precious metal has fallen about VND600,000 per tael. Regarding non-SJC gold bullion, Rong Vang Thang Long gold bullion refined by the Hanoi-based Bao Tin Minh Chau Co were traded at VND40.65 million a tael and VND40.95 million a tael for bid and ask, respectively. PNJ gold bullion produced by the HCMC-based Phu Nhuan Jewelry Co were traded at VND41.5 million a tael and VND41.59 million a tael for bid and ask respectively. Meanwhile, in the US market, spot gold as quoted by Kitco.com was at … [Read more...] about Gold loses VND42 mln threshold again as world price drops
The latest round of talks between Iran and the six world powers in addition to the European Union ( EU) started in Moscow on Monday, with all parties expressing wills to continue the dialogue over the Iranian nuclear issue. After the first day meeting, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany, known as P5+1, were concrete. "The main thing is that the sides have demonstrated their political wills to continue the dialogue," Ryabkov told a press conference after the talks, which, he said, were held in a benevolent and business-like atmosphere. "Not a minute was wasted," he said, adding the talks would continue on Tuesday. The Russian diplomat also admitted there were some obstacles in the negotiations. "The key stumbling block is that the stances of the sides are really complicated and hard to reconcile," Ryabkov said. … [Read more...] about Iran, world powers discuss nuclear issues in Moscow
An editorial headlined "American shadow over East Sea" in the Global Times, a newspaper viewed as a mouthpiece of China's Communist Party, stated that "China will never waive its right to protect its core interest with military means." Security environment in the East Sea and efforts for managing the disputes The East Sea disputes East Sea: recent developments and its implicationsChina's "core national interest" The most significant development in the East Sea is that in March 2010, senior Chinese officials told U.S. high-ranking visitors that China had put the East Sea into its "core national interest" category of non-negotiable territorial claims—in the same level as Taiwan and Tibet. It possibly means that Chinese authority has to defend its newly categorized national interest in the East Sea by all costs, including the use of force. An editorial headlined "American shadow over East Sea" in the Global Times, a newspaper viewed as a mouthpiece of China's Communist Party, … [Read more...] about New round of tension