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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International

Southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu. Cambodia and Laos protest Vietnamese squatters and armed encroachments along border. Cambodia also accuses Vietnam of a wide variety of illicit cross-border activities. Progress on a joint development area with Cambodia is hampered by an unresolved dispute over sovereignty of offshore islands.

The decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009. China occupies the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. Brunei claims a maritime boundary extending beyond as far as a median with Vietnam, thus asserting an implicit claim to Lousia Reef. The 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants.

Vietnam continues to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly Islands. In March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands. Economic Exclusion Zone negotiations with Indonesia are ongoing, and the two countries in Fall 2011 agreed to work together to reduce illegal fishing along their maritime boundary.

An estimated 300,000 Vietnamese refugees reside in China.

Illicit Drugs

Vietnam is a minor producer of opium poppy, as well as a probable minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin. The government continues to face domestic opium/heroin/methamphetamine addiction problems despite long-standing crackdowns.





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