News / Asia

ASEAN Summit: China, Japan Tensions Dash Hopes for Talks

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan, right, and China's Premier Wen Jiabao look in opposite directions as they arrive for 13th ASEAN Plus Three Summit on the sidelines of the 17th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi 29 October 2010.
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan, right, and China's Premier Wen Jiabao look in opposite directions as they arrive for 13th ASEAN Plus Three Summit on the sidelines of the 17th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi 29 October 2010.

Leaders of Southeast Asia and their neighbors are meeting in Hanoi to discuss economic and political cooperation. Tensions surfaced between China and Japan with Beijing accusing Tokyo of spoiling hope for talks between their leaders.

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations held talks Friday with Japan, South Korea, and China before meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan told journalists the leaders of ASEAN and the three countries emphasized the growing importance of their group, known as the ASEAN plus three.

"And, they would like to intensify their cooperation and the integration in trade and investment and development and various other areas to make sure that this region is a region of growth and stability and progress," he said.

Harsh words

But, just as the meetings ended, China lashed out at Japan, rejecting talks between the Chinese Premier and the Japanese Prime Minister.

China's official Xinhua news agency quoted Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue as accusing the Japanese of ruining the atmosphere for discussions by making untrue statements in earlier meetings.

Xinhua said the Chinese delegation rejected reports that the two sides agreed to resume negotiations on territorial disputes in the East China Sea.

Tokyo's response

A Japanese government spokesman, Noriyuki Shikata, told journalists there was no basis for such a reaction.

"We think we should engage in dialogue between the two countries. And, there are issues to be resolved," Shikata said. "And, we maintain our basic position that in order to resolve issues, pending issues, we have to talk."

The Foreign Ministers of China and Japan met Friday morning in what appeared to be a sign of warming relations.

What led to tensions?

Tensions have been high between the Asian giants since the Japanese navy detained a Chinese fishing boat in disputed waters.

Industry insiders say Beijing responded by banning exports of rare minerals to Japan, a charge that China denies.

During the three-day ASEAN summit concerns have been raised about China's increasingly assertive claims on maritime territories.

Beijing claims the entire South China Sea, putting it in conflict over the Paracel and Spratly islands with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Burma elections

Surin says the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also raised the issue of controversial election plans in Burma, also known as Myanmar.

"The U.N. Secretary-General said post elections is as important as pre-elections," Surin said. "Myanmar should send a right signal to the world that the world would be able to respond in order to solve a lot of problems that people of Myanmar would like to see resolved."

Burma's military government is to hold the country's first elections in two decades on November 7.

Critics have dismissed the elections as a sham.

The military is already guaranteed a quarter of all seats in parliament, has sidelined opposition parties, and banned outside observers and journalists.

Member countries

The ASEAN's members are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

They will be joined Saturday by heads of state from Australia, India, and New Zealand for the East Asia Summit.

Russia and the United States will attend the East Asia Summit as observers and be invited to join as members in 2011.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid