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

Russia Names US NGO 'Undesirable'

Prosecutors determine activities of National Endowment for Democracy to be 'undesirable,' paving the way for it to be outlawed on Russian territory More

Erdogan Vows 'Anti-Terror' Campaign in Syria, Iraq

Erdogan expressed confidence the 'necessary steps' will be taken by NATO leaders, who will meet Tuesday at Turkey's request More

North Korea: 'No Interest at All' in Nuke Deal

Senior US envoy Sydney Seiler visits Beijing Tuesday for talks on how to revive the stalled six-party nuclear talks with North Korea More

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.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs