News / Asia

    China Agrees to Discuss 'Code of Conduct' Rules

    An aerial photo shows Chinese marine surveillance ships Haijian No. 49 (front) and Haijian No.50 cruising in the East China Sea, as the islands known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands, April 23, 2013.
    An aerial photo shows Chinese marine surveillance ships Haijian No. 49 (front) and Haijian No.50 cruising in the East China Sea, as the islands known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands, April 23, 2013.
    Simone Orendain
    This week the Association of Southeast Asian Nations appeared to make progress on addressing territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Following meetings in Brunei, the group announced that China had agreed to discuss a set of rules known as the “code of conduct” to avoid conflict in the disputed waters.

    Last year's ASEAN forum ended without a consensus because of squabbles over the South China Sea. The group concluded its meetings without a joint statement for the first time in its history.

    This year, the joint communiqué emphasizes adhering to an 11-year-old non-binding agreement among China and the 10-member states to peacefully handle competing claims in the South China Sea. It also calls for “formal consultations” on a code of conduct in September in Beijing. The talks are expected to take place among lower level officials and focus on steps to avoid conflict. They are not expected to discuss the territorial disputes.

    Philippine Foreign Affairs Spokesman Raul Hernandez says the country welcomes this development.

    “And that is exactly what we have been pushing for, for a long time now, that we should be able to conclude a code of conduct with China in order to govern the activities in the West Philippine Sea,” he said.

    Hernandez uses Manila’s local name for the South China Sea.

    Relations between the Philippines and China chilled significantly after a two-month standoff last year between their ships at Scarborough Shoal, which the Philippines says is well within its 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone, as designated by international law. Then this May, Chinese civilian ships and a frigate were seen in the vicinity of Second Thomas Shoal, which the Philippines claims.

    China, Taiwan and Vietnam claim practically the entire sea, while the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei have partial claims. The sea is believed to be rich in oil and natural gas, with abundant fishing and well-traveled sea lanes.

    Of the claimants, the Philippines has been the most vocal about alleged Chinese encroachment into its waters. This week Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario denounced what he called China’s “increasing militarization” of the sea. The comment came after Chinese state media warned of a “counterstrike” against the Philippines if it continues to provoke Beijing.

    Security analyst Carl Thayer of the Australia Defense Force Academy says this year’s ASEAN gathering is more cohesive because foreign ministers from countries without any sovereign stake in the sea worked hard to build unity after last year’s meeting.

    “Overwhelmingly Indonesia has taken a role." he said. "Thailand has picked up the ball as country coordinator and tried to move it. And China is trying to not be isolated and not have the issue internationalized to an even greater extent. And there’s a new leadership change in China and it’s responding to these changes.”

    Thayer says China’s agreement to consultations on a more binding code is a step in the right direction.  But he says a lot will depend on how firmly it will commit to the terms of the code.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Samurai from: Japan
    July 07, 2013 12:10 AM
    Even today, Chinese ships are invading Japanese inherent waters. Chinese, thanks for your time-and-money-wasting jobs. We Japanese will never allow Chinese to invade our territories. Let's Chinese remember that Japanese navy completely beat out Chinese navy in Sino-Japan (Yellow-sea) battle.

    by: Anonymous
    July 06, 2013 2:18 PM
    china and russia are the troublemaker in asian .them has been to impact to asian of others countries policy . the china of communist government always an liar.
    the example is hongkong

    by: defense china
    July 06, 2013 2:11 PM
    it's not discrimination of mainland of china.. but china and russia has been layout troops in asia pacific.. so USA must rebuild and deployment asian of troops with NATO for defense.( with allies of asian could sharing troops bases cost for save cost)
    please rebuild troops in taiwan and philipine. and enhance japan and south korea of armament in USA bases for ensure benefit of USA during asian

    by: i hate china from: taiwan
    July 06, 2013 1:49 PM
    compose an island common defense allies agreement .to defense russia and china communist. now the russia and china has been impact asian of safely in other democracy countries. however the agreement need USA joint all asian of allies and commucation and connect independent taiwan、 south korea with japan and philipine for troops base. continue and rebuild troops in taiwan and philipine bases about USA troops

    by: Mhey from: Cordillera
    July 06, 2013 4:58 AM
    West Philippine sea belongs to Philippines,period!China get out from our territory.
    In Response

    by: jonathan huang from: canada
    July 07, 2013 12:29 PM
    the west phili sea is only about 10 miles wide. LOL

    by: Demchigdonrov from: Mongolia
    July 05, 2013 2:47 AM
    I'm afraid that Chinese once agree with the code of conduct but not observe it. The rest of the world should not rely on Chinese who never respect international laws, other countries' sovereignty, and even ethics and morals.
    In Response

    by: Liu Yang from: China
    July 05, 2013 9:21 PM
    Yeah, that's why China built a Wall to keep the Monglian out, for fearing that they loot our city, rape our women, steal our land.
    To the Amricans, you're the last one one earth to point fingers at China at any issue regarding the South China Sea. All the disputes involved were rootes of the US strategy of contain the communism countries after the Second World War
    In Response

    by: Ian from: USA
    July 05, 2013 1:31 PM
    You are absolutely right . It is in their "Art of war" book . Steal , rob , cheat , & misleading are Chinese's trick of the trade .
    Just read the comment from the Chinese comrade "anonymous" below saying "South China sea belongs to China" Anyone could see clearly the vision of the so called China 's peaceful rise

    by: Anonymous
    July 05, 2013 2:16 AM
    South China See belongs to China.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora