News / Asia

As Obama Leaves Asia, One Last Swipe at China

President Barack Obama speaks to military troops at the Fort Bonifacio Gymnasium in Manila, April 29, 2014.
President Barack Obama speaks to military troops at the Fort Bonifacio Gymnasium in Manila, April 29, 2014.
VOA News
President Barack Obama took another implicit swipe at China's foreign policy Tuesday as he wrapped up a week-long, four-nation tour of Asia.

Speaking to U.S. and Philippine troops before departing Manila, President Obama repeated his administration's long-held stances on China's maritime disputes.

"We believe that all nations and peoples have the right to live in security and peace and have their sovereignty and territorial integrity respected. We believe that international law must be held, that freedom of navigation must be preserved, and commerce must not be impeded. We believe that disputes must be resolved peacefully and not be intimidation or force," said Obama.

The comments, which did not mention China by name, come a day after Washington and Manila signed a new defense deal to expand the U.S. military presence in the Pacific nation.

Obama stressed that the U.S. commitment to defend the Philippines is "iron-clad." He cited a 1951 treaty in which both nations agreed to protect one another if attacked.

The closer military relationship is widely seen as a response to Beijing, which is involved in a worsening dispute with Manila over territory in the South China Sea.

VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez, who is traveling with Obama, said the deal represents one of the "high notes" of the president's trip.

"The United States was able to secure a defense agreement that brings back U.S. troops to the [Philippine] islands at their largest scale since the U.S. closed down its permanent bases more than two decades ago," said Ramirez.

Obama on Monday said the new security agreement is not meant to "counter" or "control" China, but this has done little to ease worries among many Chinese leaders.

That concern was expressed in several editorials in China's state-run newspapers, which though not official statements, often reflect the government's position.

The China Daily said Obama's trip shows it is "increasingly obvious that Washington is taking Beijing as an opponent." The paper accused the U.S. of "ganging up with troublemaker allies" and said it is presenting itself as a "security threat to China."

The official Xinhua news agency said Monday the U.S.-Philippine deal was "particularly disturbing," as it may embolden Manila in dealing with Beijing and could provide U.S. backing for the Philippines to "confront China."

The 10-year deal will allow a larger U.S. security presence in the islands and the rotation of U.S. troops and equipment, such as ships and fighter jets, into Philippine military bases. No new U.S. bases will be built and no old U.S. bases will be reclaimed under the deal.

Last week, Beijing was also angry that Obama signed a statement explicitly stating that a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea are covered in a mutual defense treaty with Japan. The treaty obliges the U.S. to come to the defense of Tokyo if attacked.

The Philippines and Japan are involved in two of the most heated territorial disputes between China and its neighbors. Other Asian countries also accuse China of using its rising military strength to intimidate, threaten, or take over disputed area from their forces.
  • President Barack Obama speaks to military troops at Fort Bonifacio, saying a new military pact signed with the Philippines on Monday, April 27 granting a larger presence for U.S. forces would bolster the region's maritime security, Manila, April 29, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama states during a joint news conference with President Benigno Aquino III, that a 10-year agreement signed Monday, April 27, will give the U.S. military greater access to Philippine bases, helping to promote peace and stability in the region, Malacanang Palace, Manila, April 28, 2014. 



     
  • Police use a water cannon on "Bayan Muna" (My Country First) activists who tried to march to the U.S. embassy protesting President Barack Obama's visit, Manila April 29, 2014. 
  • The tail section of Air Force One is pictured on the tarmac at Elmendorf Air Force Base outside Anchorage, Alaska, as President Barack Obama stayed onboard during a refuel stop on his return to the United States from Asia, April 29, 2014. 
  • U.S. President Barack Obama waves to the media upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama, center, stands to speak as he attends a state dinner with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • Philippine activists pull barbed wire fence as they try to go near the Malacanang Palace during a rally to oppose the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and U.S., Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • An activist holds a protest sign near the Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, April 28, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama is welcomed by South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House in Seoul, April 25, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and Japan's Empress Michiko attend a welcome ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands at the conclusion of their joint news conference at the Akasaka State Guest House in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama and ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative MObility, bow to each other during a youth science event at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, April 24, 2014.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Saidu Jalloh from: Sierra Leone
April 29, 2014 3:56 PM
Why is President Obama sending troop to Asia is it important or excepting War why not leaving Asia with there on problem and let them settle it them selves that is what I'm missing pls can some body answer me.

by: Ian from: USA
April 29, 2014 1:53 PM
[Obama on Monday said the new security agreement is not meant to "counter" or "control" China, but this has done little to ease worries among many Chinese leaders.]
The Chinese leaders do not worry. There never was a security threat to China. They just drum up the imagination security issue to legitimate their ambitions. They are the ones who instigate the encroachment and stealing other countries' islands. Remember they bought the aircraft carrier Variag from Ukraine under pretext of making a floating casino? well it is officially now the aircraft carrier Liaoning that they will use to extend their threat deep into the Southeast Asian beach fronts.

by: Anniesmarmar Lgh from: Thailand
April 29, 2014 10:16 AM
Hi, Barack Obama should be grateful for your previous Korean, Vietcong or Indochinede war Veterans, first, before starting big military cooperation in S.Asia again. And, do not forget to encourage ICC to work on Prime M HunSen's and his team.

by: meanbill from: USA
April 29, 2014 8:25 AM
Like Rodney Dangerfield the comedian, who always said, "I get no respect" _ (no respect at all).. The US "Hashtag Diplomacy" gets no respect either, and all Obama's veiled accusations and threats, are now snickered at, and made jokes of.. -- More and more, he looks like he's a comedian out for laughs? _ who gets no respect?

by: angeles cepeda from: taguig city
April 29, 2014 3:49 AM
Based from the message above,I understand China is holding and squeezing the neck of the Philippines and the other asian countries. China stop bullying us particularly Philippines Obama is with us today and forever. US is our mother country. Bear in mind that a mother can never leave her child alone.
In Response

by: Sheehan from: Jiaxing
April 29, 2014 8:16 PM
US is not only your mother, but also your forfathers. Do you know how hooliganism your country are ? don't say China bully you or squeeze the neck of yours.

by: narciso tolentino from: Philippines
April 29, 2014 3:47 AM
US-Ph agreement is best in order balance power in this part of the world, thereby preventing further escalation of Chinese unlawful deeds and disrespect to his smaller neighboring countries rights and complete disregard to UNCLOS.

by: Kc from: St louis
April 29, 2014 3:41 AM
They need to fix this. Quick. Self distruction on the brink

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More