Immediately after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave a speech at the UN about Washington’s role and interests in resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea (Vietnam calls it the East Sea), many Vietnamese expressed their agreement.
Foreign Minister Blinken said at the UN Security Council session on August 9:
“Some argue that the settlement of disputes in the South China Sea is not the business of the United States or any country that is not a claimant to the islands and waters. But this is, more than that, the responsibility of each member state to uphold the rules we all have agreed to abide by and to resolve maritime disputes peacefully.”
The US Embassy in Hanoi on August 11 re-posted this statement on its Facebook page and by August 12 received more than 2,000 likes and more than 350 comments. Similar content posted on the Facebook page of the US Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh received more than 1,300 likes and more than 80 comments.
Mr. Phan Trong Nghia in Ho Chi Minh City wrote in a comment: “Thank you for speaking the words that we also wanted to say.”
Another reader named Nguu Le in Vietnam wrote: “I believe people in the South China Sea will sleep better if there is an American presence there.”
Although in his speech, Mr. Blinken did not mention the Chinese government, reader De Le wrote: “Only China believes that the settlement of disputes in the South China Sea is not the business of the United States or any other country that is not a claimant to the islands and waters.”
“We support the United States to join hands to preserve international order and ensure that countries comply with international law on the East Sea,” wrote Nguyen Xuan Tho in Quang Nam.
Mr. Thomas Tran in Vancouver, Canada, wrote: “The United States is the most powerful country in the world, and has had a continuing interest in the South China Sea for many centuries. One of those interests of the United States is sea transportation, goods circulation, and tourism. And the United States has many other existing interests in the South China Sea, including political interests. Therefore, the United States should and should participate directly in the defense of international law in the South China Sea.”
In his speech, the US Secretary of State said: “In the South China Sea, we have witnessed dangerous encounters between ships at sea and provocative actions to advance unlawful maritime claims. The United States has made clear its concerns regarding acts of intimidation and bullying of other countries into lawful access to their maritime resources. And we and other countries, including the South China Sea claimants, have protested such behavior and unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea.”
Also on August 9, according to Reuters, China’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Dai Binh made harsh accusations that the US “arbitrarily sent modern military ships and aircraft into the South China Sea as a provocation and openly seeks to sow discord among countries in the region.”