Vietnam Believes China Is Threatening Regional Air Safety

State media has reported that Vietnam has been accusing China of threatening regional air safety because they have been conducting unannounced flights. The unannounced flights have been flying to a disputed reef in the South China Sea.


Reports have stated forty six such incidents of aviation have occurred, in the first week of January. Protesters have been sending letters to Beijing and to the UN’s aviation body. According to reports Vietnam is one of the many nations that is challenging China’s claim of sovereignty.


Vietnam has also claimed that China has been running a lot of test flights to an artificial island which was built in the Spratly islands.


The flights has caused Vietnam to announce their sovereignty has been violated.


What has caused the tension between Vietnam, other nations and China?


China’s rivals have been battling for territory throughout centuries, but has been increasing in recent years. Many nations have expressed concern that the unannounced flights to the area will cause global consequences.


Throughout all of this tension, China has backed up its claims with an island building and naval patrols. However; the United States has said it opposes restrictions on unlawful sovereignty and freedom of navigation claims.


The Spratlys and Paracels are two island chains that are claimed in whole or in part by different countries. There are many rocky outcrops, reefs, sandbanks, and atolls by the islands.


Spratlys and Parces are largely uninhabited, many believe that the islands have natural resources around them. Not only is there a possibility of natural resources surrounding the islands, but it is a major shipping route and is home for fishers that support livelihoods for people living across the region.


China claims the largest part of the territory. Beijing has stated it has had the right to claim the islands since they were considered to be parts of the Chinese nations. In 1947, China released a map detailing its claims. The map showed the islands falling into its territory.


Vietnam however, denies China’s claims. According to them, China has never claimed sovereignty over the two islands before the 1940s. Vietnam is claiming that they have ruled over the islands since the 17th century. They also claim they have documents that prove this.

The Philippines claims part of the Spratlys. Malaysia and Brunei also claim territory in the South China Sea. Both countries claim it falls within exclusion zones that are defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.


Even though Brunei does not claim the disputed lands, Malaysia claims a small part of different lands in the island.


China has already been having issues with air pollution. The country has announced its plans to clean its air. Their plan is to limit coal to 65% of their primary energy. They also announced that they plan to prohibit any type of increase in coal use for any of their major urban regions that are along the coast. Along with decreasing coal usage, they plan to promote the installation of desulfurization plus decrease the amount of pollutant treatment technologies in power plants, furnaces, and industrial boilers that are close to the cities.


A China U.S. study says that their plan will not work. The study was done by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tsinghua University in Beijing in March of 2015. According to the studies, sometimes their plan can actually increase emissions.


In 2013, the air pollution in China reached record breaking levels. A big smog had formed in the country that year. After it had formed there was a big public outcry about the air pollution issue. The record breaking levels along with the public outcry is what caused air pollution to be declared as a war on air pollution by Chinese leaders.


How Does the Issues in Southern China Sea Effect Air Pollution?

Many suggests that the air pollution problems are due to the population growth, economic growth, energy production from highly polluting technologies, and increased material consumption around the South China sea. Also, there has been an increase in waste dumping and in oil spills because there is more trading and transporting of raw materials happening there. Motor vehicles in the Southern China Sea can also be linked to the air pollution issue.


Reports have stated there have been a large amount of aircraft flying into the sea. Already stated in this article, Vietnam has made claims that the flights have been unannounced.


The territory issues in the sea will have to be resolved soon in order to solve the air pollution issue on that end. If it is not resolved soon, there is a good chance that the issue will become even worse. It will be interesting to see how China’s plan will work.

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