News / Asia

China: US Remarks About Territorial Claims Irresponsible

FILE - Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei speaks during a press briefing in Beijing, China. (file photo)
FILE - Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei speaks during a press briefing in Beijing, China. (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
— China says that remarks made earlier this week by a U.S. top official about its maritime disputes are groundless and irresponsible. East Asia envoy Daniel Russel had raised concerns about China's assertive stance with its neighbors and questioned the legality of China's territorial claims.

China’s claims to maritime territory in the East and South China Seas have raised tensions with its neighbors, in particular Japan and the Philippines.

This week U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, Daniel Russel, told a Congressional hearing in Washington that China is increasingly assertive in trying to gain control over oceans in the region.

On Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Russel's remarks were unfounded.

He says it is extremely irresponsible of the relevant U.S. official to make groundless accusations against China based on rumors and without checking the facts.

Russel also said that China's claims in the South China Sea are not complying with international law. He said that although the United States does not take sides in territorial disputes, Beijing should clarify its claims.

Sam Bateman, a maritime security analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore says Russel's statements were unnecessarily provocative.

“The only way you can read them is that the U.S. is taking a position on the claims. China's claims are not very good ipso facto the claims by other countries are better,” he said.

China claims sovereignty over islands and waters in the South China Sea delineated by the so-called 'nine dash line,' a demarcation that Beijing submitted to the United Nations in 2009. The area is rich in oil and natural gas, and covers territory also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.

Russel said that China falls short on international law because its claims are not determined on land features, such as a nation's coastline or its islands.

Bateman says Russel's remark show a lack of understanding of what the "nine dash line" is.

“It's loose geographical shorthand to say we claim islands and features, it is not actually questioning other countries who have establish exclusive economic zones inside the nine dash line, or indeed have maritime boundaries with their neighbor.”

China's claims refer to historical fishing routes that Beijing says date back to the fifteen century. Bateman says there is some legal merit to the argument.

“Those sort of traditional fishing rights do have some sort of basis in international law, although China cannot really just assert them without some discussion with the countries concerned,” he said.

Tensions have flared up in the East and South China sea after territorial rows led to occasional spats between fishing and exploration boats.

China has asserted its sovereignty by creating new restrictions on fishing routes in the South China Sea as well as declaring an air defense identification zone over islands disputed with Japan.

This week, the Philippines president compared giving in to China’s claims in the South China Sea, to territorial concessions to Nazi Germany before the start of World War 2.  China’s state news agency called the comments a disgrace.

On Wednesday Russel warned of a “serious downturn” in China-Japan relations, and urged the two countries to use diplomatic means to manage their problems.

The Obama administration has tried to refocus its foreign policy on Asia, saying America needs to strengthen its influence in the Asia Pacific region.

But in China, Obama's efforts are viewed as a strategy of containment, especially when they touch on territorial disputes that China prefers to discuss bilaterally.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Curtis
February 08, 2014 10:49 PM
In terms of South Chinese Sea, as early as 1958, Chinese government declared that the Nine-dotted line is to be effective and then there was no argument over this declaration from other South-Eastern Asian Countries. Why do Americans deliberately neglect that period of history? Why don't Americans read about Nine-dotted line in Wikipedia?


by: Frank from: O.County, USA
February 08, 2014 9:56 PM
Why does China try to invade other countries' territories and rob them of natural resources and fishery resources? China must learn international laws, or ethics and manners at first. China must pay money for other counties resources and estates.

In Response

by: James Whale from: Australia
February 11, 2014 2:42 AM
Isn't that what America does?? Invading other countries, stealing natural resources?? Maybe China is learning from America!


by: Richard Att from: USA
February 08, 2014 6:53 PM
China is in disputes with several Asian countries. In all cases China refuses to take the issues to the ICJ or attempt to resolve them through any legal means, preferring to use intimidation, harassment and force to get it's way. Why then is Sam Bateman, a maritime security analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, going on about the "legal" merit's of China's position? Seems pretty silly, yes?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid