Thursday, April 23, 2009

GS Nguyen Van Canh tai The Sydney Institute


Giao Su Nguyen Van Canh, den tu Hoa Ky, da co 2 buoi thuyet trinh truoc do voi Cong Dong Nguoi Viet Tu Do ve " Hoang Sa , Truong Sa va Chu Quyen Dan Toc". Mot buoi tai Sydney vao ngay 12-4-09 voi hon 800 nguoi tham du. Mot buoi khac tai Melbourne, ngay 19-4-09 voi hon 300 nguoi tham du.



"Drafting the defence white paper has been anything but plain sailing. There is a clear disjunction between Rudd's ambitions for a defence force with more maritime punch and the budget to fund new equipment, … Some government insiders question whether the Prime Minister and cabinet's national security committee have devoted sufficient attention to the strategic assessments that underpin the kind of capabilities Australia's force will get from 2020." - The Australian, Nov 2008

"Hugh White, former adviser to Hawke and Beazley on defence matters and now an academic at ANU, has written his own analysis of Australia's military requirements - a sort of alternative Defence White Paper. … In very broad strokes, White believes the rise of China radically changes Australia's strategic environment - whatever China's goals, no longer will the USA have unchallenged military dominance in the Asia-Pacific region, and this changes Australia's defence priorities. Throw in a strongly growing India and Indonesia, and the neighbourhood is looking rather more crowded than it did through the last 30 years or so." - Larvatus Prodeo blog

On a visit to Vietnam in early April 2009, Senator John McCain told a press conference in Hanoi that the United States "would like to increase military-to-military relations" with its former adversary Vietnam. McCain also noted China's disputes with Vietnam and other countries over the Spratly and Paracel Islands. How might this development affect Australia's relationship with the US as Australia plans a build up of conventional defence forces in the region?

The Spratlys, about 100 barren islets, reefs and atolls dotting the world's busiest shipping lanes in the South China Sea, are part of an oil-rich archipelago claimed by China and in full or in part, by Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. In March 2009, China defended a move to send a patrol ship to the disputed Spratly islands, saying it was not a violation of an agreement to maintain the peace in the South China Sea. In February 2008, Vietnam protested a visit by Taiwan's president to the disputed Spratlys islands, describing the move as a serious escalation in the long-standing sovereignty row. As reported by the International Enterprise Singapore in March 2009:

"China has laid claim to two potentially oil-rich island groups in the South China Sea - the Spratlys and the Paracels - which has brought it into conflict with other claimants. The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan have staked claims over the Spratlys. Vietnam and Taiwan have also marked the Paracels - known as Xisha in China - as part of their territories. There have been numerous stand-offs between the claimants, with China usually involved. In 1988, it fought a naval battle with Vietnam over the Paracels. In the late 1990s, the Philippines and China came close to war over Mischief Reef, which is part of the Spratlys, after the Chinese built structures on stilts in the area. Nevertheless, analysts are optimistic that the current tension will not escalate. … There is a May deadline for all countries to make their territorial claims compliant with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea."

Dr Nguyen Van Canh was Assistant dean of the Faculty of Law at Saigon University and Professor of Law at Hue University before finding his way to the United States as a refugee in 1975. He has since worked as a research scholar at the Hoover Institute of War and Peace at Stanford University and the East Asia Institute at the University of California. He is also the author of Vietnam Under Communism, 1975-1982­.

Former Research Scholar, Hoover Institute for War Peace and Peace;
Author Vietnam Under Communism, 1975-1982 [Hoover Press]