News / Asia

    APEC Leaders to Discuss Rival South China Sea Claims

    BEIJING — Asia-Pacific leaders meeting in Russia this week are expected to discuss how best to reconcile border disputes in the South China Sea. Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and China all have competing territorial claims.

    Chinese patrols in contested waters, and a new Chinese garrison on a disputed island put rival claims to the South China Sea front and center at this week's forum of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

    "There is a small risk, and I think it is a growing risk, that an incident at sea could escalate into conflict involving China and one of its neighbors, and I think that is what we are all worried about," said Rory Medcalf, who directs the International Security Program at Australia's Lowy Institute.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Southeast Asian nations should draft a unified code of conduct with China to resolve competing claims to the sea.

    "We believe the nations of the region should work collaboratively together to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threats and certainly without the use of force," said Clinton.

    Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa is taking the lead.

    "I had a very good, frank and candid discussion with my foreign minister of China colleague here in this very same building to call him to revert back to the diplomatic process," said Natalegawa. "I think the track is quite clear what is ahead of us, namely, we must apply ourselves to have the code of conduct done."

    But the Association of Southeast Asian Nations failed to agree on a code of conduct in July. Justin Logan of Washington's Cato Institute said this week's APEC summit may do no better.

    "I think bringing in different countries will create a different dynamic.  Although, in all likelihood, many of the countries that were in involved in the first go-around will be very, very reticent to get back involved again seeing the sour outcome that happened in ASEAN," said Logan.

    Resolving the standoff is complicated by Chinese wariness of the Obama administration's greater military and economic involvement in Asia.  

    "We have noticed the United States has said many times that it will not hold a position on the South China Sea issue," said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei. "We hope they can keep their promises and do more things that are conducive to regional peace and stability, not the opposite."

    Before APEC, Secretary Clinton tried to soothe tensions with China.

    "We want to see them [China] play a positive role in navigation and maritime security issues," said Clinton. "We want to see them contribute to sustainable development for the people of the Pacific to protect the precious environment, including the oceans."

    U.S. officials expect this APEC summit to endorse the need for a code of conduct over the South China Sea so that mechanisms for resolving rival claims might be in place before November's East Asia Summit in Cambodia.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, here's what the history of take-out food tells us about changes in American society

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: John Lone from: San Diego
    September 04, 2012 5:04 PM
    Japan, Philippines,and Vietnam own Hillary Clinton a big favor and now it is time for these 3 countries and others to throw their weight in to fully support her mission in china to lecture them bully will not work in the 21st century and chinese must behavior like a cilivized being.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora