News / Asia

ASEAN Urges Restraint in Maritime Disputes

Foreign Ministers and representatives of Association of Southeast Asian Nations, applaud after posing for a group photo during the 24th ASEAN summit in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Saturday, May 10 2014.
Foreign Ministers and representatives of Association of Southeast Asian Nations, applaud after posing for a group photo during the 24th ASEAN summit in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Saturday, May 10 2014.
VOA News
Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have expressed concern over escalating tensions in the South China Sea, where China has been involved in maritime disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines.

Burmese Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin says ASEAN foreign ministers issued a joint statement calling for restraint during a meeting on Saturday.

"We ask all the parties to resolve their issues in a very peaceful manner," he said.

The foreign ministers' meeting in the Burmese capital, Naypyidaw, took place on the eve of the ASEAN summit.

After the session, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh said the ASEAN regional bloc could be instrumental in resolving the territorial disputes.  

"I think everybody is satisfied in a way that ASEAN can play a central role and adopted a collective position on this issue but we are not happy with the incidents outside," Vinh said.

Earlier this week, Manila arrested 11 Chinese fishermen for poaching in a disputed area near the Half Moon Shoal in the Spratly Islands. Philippines police dismissed China's demands to release the men.

Meanwhile, Chinese and Vietnamese ships collided this week in a dispute over Beijing's placement of an oil rig in disputed waters near the Paracel Islands.

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by: oldlamb from: Guangzhou
May 11, 2014 9:59 PM
Without US’s inciting,without any provocation from Japan and Philippines,and so on.including in the East China sea and the South China Sea.With the growing of Chinese economy and military strength, As is Known no country could own the competence of confrontation to face China 40 years later,regardless of which it invovled,Japan,Philippines or US.They have to contain China’s development as soon as possible.The USA need Japanese help,They have staged a range of farces in the East China sea and the South China Sea recent years.For example,in 2012,Japan government was incited to bought Diaoyu island by US’ government where China and Japan government had agreed to lay aside the controversial island since 1970s.On the pretext of the threat from China,Japan government is going for the right of collective self-defence that it is forbided by Japanese constitution now.

Philippines government is in commom with Japan now.When Philippines marine serveillance ships shot Chinese fishmen, the US’ submarine was following.

This a range of farces was called Untie Watchdogs that allow the watchdogs bite China and provocate China. What if China could not restraint himself,and retaliate to Japan or Philipines?The three countries will stand togather to against China and weaken China as soon as posible.Because they all believe that China could not win their three now. It is the first step of Asia rebalance.

by: harry from: australia
May 11, 2014 6:14 PM
Over the past 2decades US administrations have questioned the spike in China's military spending.To which China has argued that it for defensive purposes.Now we know what their agenda was and slowly but surely they are revealing it.Massive resources have been channeled to their military but whe it came to the underwater search for MH370 all they could do to detect signals were with a microphone attached to a broom handle.We certainly know where their priorities are and it is all military.

by: David Hill
May 11, 2014 10:21 AM
Territorial disputes over land and seas will greatly intensify over the next 30 years as natural resources continue to run out. Indeed global wars are inevitable if we continue to use the current economic development model (capitalism & globalization) as the instrument of human progress. In this respect if powerful political leaders and industrialists do not see what is on the horizon for humankind soon, the human experience will be no more in less than 100-years from now - http://worldinnovationfoundation.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/humankind-on-its-present-path-of.html

by: Dune ingot from: Haiyan Zhenjiang
May 11, 2014 8:57 AM
So many people in the world don't like China,But I just want say:Chinesepeople and Beijing gevement are diffident things,people want'a pease.
In Response

by: LiveFree from: Cali
May 11, 2014 1:25 PM
You are absolutely correct. Honest hard working Chinese people deserve what they earn, no one is jealous of Chinese's success. It's China government is trying to get a free ride on someone else's resources and stirring up all troubles in an otherwise very peaceful region of harmonious nations.

by: anh huynh from: USA
May 11, 2014 12:13 AM
I am praying Please God Bless Vietnam that my Native Country. Our Ancestors had been fought hard with China and others Country to keep it. Vietnam is small Nation we did not do any wrong we fought for Vietnam Independent One Nation Under God. Vietnam must joint together with neighbors to drive the China out from Vietnam. The World are human being please help to Stop China and bring them to the International Court Please.

by: harry from: australia
May 10, 2014 10:18 PM
China is flexing its military muscle.It needs the world for its cheap exports yet it will impose its will when resources are dwindling.Decades of militarization has given it the courage to be more assertive.ASEAN is a toothless set up that is ill equiped to deal with this.Its a matter of time before the Chinese begin to use force.Amerca,Japan,India and Australia need to draw a line in the sand.Trouble is being a communist dictatorship they dont have to answer to anyone and nationalist ambitions prop up their standing domestically.
In Response

by: LiveFree from: California
May 11, 2014 2:52 AM
ASEAN is not a military alliance, it is an economic one. All they can say is "Let's resolve the disputes in a peaceful manner." Well, easy said than done. Yet, one cant expect a country will join a military alliance when they dont face an immediate danger of aggression.

Best way to deter China's assertiveness is to divert investment in China to ASEAN countries via the coming TPP (Trans-Pacific Trade Pact) to counter China's growth. Both Japan and Vietnam and several other Asian countries are eager signer. US companies will benefit as labor cost in most of these countries are even lower than China and the signers are committed to respect Intellectual Property. For US business and government, it is wise not to put all eggs in one not-so-friendly basket. One that threatens fiercely competition in the very near future, both in terms of economic competition and power struggle.

Why wait?


When China sees that there is economic consequence for aggression, hopefully, they will change their policy.

by: Q Lee from: Sydney
May 10, 2014 6:51 PM
China is following Putin to bully small nations. They invaded and occupied territory of those countries illegally. They do as they wish and ignore international laws. The UN and the world must stop them, otherwise there is no peace on the world.

by: So So from: US
May 10, 2014 5:35 PM
In a way the members of this ASEAN organization are trying not to do the wrong things by saying the right things. This is the "every man for himself" kind of situations. I know, you all are peace loving folks, and peace is essential for business; so, let the Filipinos and the Vietnamese fend for themselves for now.
In Response

by: JPFour from: USA
May 11, 2014 3:41 PM
The spineless ASEAN organization urges restraint while the Chinese starts pumping the oil, then the next oil rig, then the next oil rig, and pretty soon it'll be in other ASEAN organization countries back yard. So far only the Philippines govt. has the gut to stare the Chinese straight to their face, while the Vietnamese communist govt. put the communist party ahead of their country and their people _ they have not a word protesting so far. Do not buy "Made In China", they will collapse from the inside out.
In Response

by: So So
May 11, 2014 3:27 AM
They are cowed by a bully named China.
ASEAN stands for the Association of Scared Easily Asian Nations
In Response

by: remie from: canada
May 10, 2014 8:24 PM
Yeah ,easy for a chinese to speak those words but if the table were turn China would do the same and worst. Any how that is why we have UNCLOS and courts. Why, are you afraid your country will lose if taken to court? Dont u have undisputed "ancient time" proof? NOT

by: SEATO
May 10, 2014 5:28 PM
China defied international laws,moved an oil drilling platform into Vietnam's Exclusive Economic Zone,as another step in asserting their stupid and illegal territorial claim over the South China Sea,and the stupid ASEAN organisation still asked both sides to act with restraint for fear of China.China's greed,ambitions and aggression,are threats not to Southeast Asia but to all mankind.We must unite to restrain China before it is too late.The only country that can do that now is America,but the sad thing is America is just too rhetorical in its announcements but too reluctant and calculating when crises arise.The only thing left for the Vietnamese government is do is to unite all its people in the fight against the Chinese aggressors with every means they've got ,rather than making concessions all the times,that would make the Chinese even more arrogant and belligerant
In Response

by: LiveFree from: California
May 11, 2014 3:06 AM
You are absolutely correct in your analysis. Vietnam must stand up to aggression at all costs now or will lose piece-by-piece to China aggression. Thugs do not respect those who are reasonable. They do not want anyone to have peace at no cost. They only respect those who dare to stand up to them and not allowing them to exercise bullying and extortion. Vietnamese leaders must stand with the people's will and protect their ancestors' territory or they will be thrown down the drain like garbage. If China wants war, let's entertain them.

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