Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Asia Times Online :: Psychological warfare in the South China Sea

Asia Times Online :: Psychological warfare in the South China Sea
By Roberto Tofani


To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting. The Art of War, ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu.
HANOI - Maritime disputes between China and Vietnam have entered a dangerous new realm: psychological warfare. Tit-for-tat provocations, including marine patrol deployments in disputed areas in the South China Sea and Beijing's decision to include territories it claims on maps printed in its national passports, have
intensified in recent months, adding new destabilizing variables to an already volatile situation.
While both sides have repeatedly stated their intention to achieve a peaceful solution through negotiations, including through a joint statement issued in 2011, at present there is little or no direct dialogue between the two governments. Beijing and Hanoi must now also face rising nationalism among their citizens, including periodic anti-China street protests in Vietnam and widespread anti-Vietnam rhetoric on Chinese citizens' private blogs and Facebook pages related to the South China Sea disputes. READ MORE

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