News / Asia

Amid Maritime Disputes, ASEAN Officials Meet in Manila

TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Against a backdrop of tense territorial disputes, top government officials and security experts gathered Wednesday in Manila for the opening of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' annual maritime conference.

Though the annual meeting is to focus on protecting water resources and securing regional trade routes, it comes at a sensitive time when four ASEAN members are engaged in disputes with China over parts of the South China Sea.

Philippines Vice President Jejomar Binay, whose country claims part of the contested and potentially oil-rich territory, told reporters he is optimistic that the disputes can be resolved through diplomacy.

"Isn't it that there is a new opening? Isn't it that the incoming president [of China] is saying, he is implying, that they are also supporting a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the problem? It's a rather non-confrontational statement," he said.

China's incoming president, current Vice President Xi Jinping, has said Beijing is committed to resolving the disputes peacefully. But his country has rejected multilateral negotiations, insisting the disputes be resolved between each individual claimant.

Security expert Sam Bateman, who is attending the conference, says he thinks it would be best that the sovereignty disputes be resolved through bilateral negotiations. He says China should be given a leadership role in maritime cooperation.

"Perhaps ASEAN might be prepared to concede a degree of leadership to China, in terms of fostering cooperation. And China of course, over the years, has made a number of initiatives relating to establishing cooperative regimes, but the reaction of course has been, 'No, no, let's talk about sovereignty first,' that sort of thing," said Bateman.

This week's summit, which goes until Friday, comes just ahead of next month's annual East Asia summit in Cambodia, where the maritime disputes are expected to be a primary focus.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Resigns

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hoang from: Canada
October 03, 2012 3:59 PM
Sam Bateman is security expert for whom? China
China wants bilateral negotiations so China can bully smaller and weaker nations. In arbitration, there has to be an impartial third party to have fair judgment.
Also, to concede leadership to china is to show weakness and China will want to take more. China will not stop until it replace the U.S. as the number 1 power in world. That will never happen because China is ruled by an evil, uncompassionate Communist Regime.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid