Vietnam Surrenders to Chinese Pressure in South China Sea

The Vietnamese government halted its drilling project, showing that the balance of power is shifting from the U.S. to China.

Vietnam has distinguished itself on several occasions over the years as a country unafraid to stand up to its more powerful neighbor to the north. This was evident in the border conflicts of the 1970s and ’80s. It was also clear in the 2012 passage of the “Law on the Sea” resolution. But on March 23, Vietnam caved in to China’s pressure in a shameful and also quite telling way. This shows that a specific Bible prophecy is now being fulfilled.

The cave-in came in the form of Vietnam halting a major oil-drilling project in the South China Sea.

Vietnam and the Spanish energy firm Repsol were working to drill at the Red Emperor oil and gas discovery, estimated to contain 45 million barrels of oil and 170 billion cubic feet of gas. This valuable discovery lies within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. That means, according to international law, it is Vietnam’s territory.

But China has little concern for international law.

Beijing ignores laws saying that nations such as Vietnam have rights to the parts of the South China Sea that lie along their coasts. Instead, China claims almost the entire vast region as its own.

So China pressured Vietnam into canceling its drilling project. Whether that pressure came through intimidation or some other approach is not yet public knowledge. But the bbc reported that the cancellation could cost investors up to $200 million in sunk costs. This marks the second time in less than a year that Vietnam has suspended a drilling project in this part of the South China Sea, surrendering to China.

These instances of surrender by Vietnam are a clear sign of the shifting power balance between China and the United States.

If the Vietnamese leadership trusted in America’s assurances to uphold international law, then they would have ignored the Chinese pressure. But since Vietnam has little trust in the U.S., it caved in to Beijing.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has said that China’s takeover of the strategic South China Sea is “steering the world toward war.” In our July 2016 Trumpet issue, he wrote:

Since Japan’s defeat in World War ii, America has protected this vital trade route and brought peace to this part of the world. Now the American military is retreating, and other great powers are coming in to fill the vacuum. … China is intimidating the nations of Southeast Asia into submission to its will. … Everything is headed in the direction of war.

Mr. Flurry’s understanding of the South China Sea situation is based on Bible prophecy. In Deuteronomy 28:52, God warns the nations of Israel that if they reject Him, He will hand control over the world’s strategic sea gates to their enemies. Mr. Flurry explained that this warning is not just directed at ancient peoples. “It is a prophecy for the modern-day descendants of Israel. Two nations, in particular, represent Israel in this end time: America and Britain,” he wrote.

China’s success in pressuring Vietnam to halt this drilling project in Vietnamese waters—and China’s broader takeover of this strategic region in general—shows that this prophecy in Deuteronomy is in the process of being fulfilled.

To understand this Bible prophecy and the hope that is tied to it, please order a free copy of Mr. Flurry’s book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.