News / Asia

    China-US Tensions Heat Up Over Disputed Sea

    Shannon Van Sant

    Chinese state media accuse the United States of inflaming tensions in the South China Sea as Secretary of State John Kerry wraps up his trip to the region during which the U.S. and China exhanged verbal blows over the resource-rich waterway. 

    Both countries have lodged accusations over actions in the South China Sea, which is contested by China and several other Asian nations.  China’s state-run People’s Daily newspaper said the United States was emboldening its Asian neighbors in claims to the water way, which is rich in natural resources and one of the busiest shipping routes in Asia.  

    The People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, said “the U.S. position is making the Philippines confident of winning the South China Sea dispute.”  The China Daily newspaper said “the United States is fishing in troubled waters” and encouraging “countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam to take blatant moves.”

    Rhetoric heats up

    Xiaohe Cheng, a Professor of International Relations at Renmin University, said the South China Sea dispute is testing relations between China and the United States. 

    "That’s the bad signs of China and U.S. relations, particularly when two countries try hard to build a so-called new model of country relations, and the rhetoric in Washington and Beijing against each other is heating up,” he noted. 

    This week Washington accused Beijing of fomenting instability in Asia through its aggressive actions and proposed a voluntary freeze on provocations in the region.  

    China refused to abide by the freeze and said the United States’ pivot to Asia is sowing instability.  More than 1,000 U.S. Marines are stationed in Australia, and that number is expected to grow to 2,500 by 2017.   Xiaohe Cheng explained how China views the U.S. actions. 

    “The United States just inked new security deals with Australia, and the U.S. is attempting to establish a permanent military base in Australia.  And all of these words and acts have been perceived by Chinese as some kind of move to contain China,” Xiaohe Cheng said.

    Growing influence

    But China’s growing influence in the region has sparked tensions with its neighbors, prompting prominent members of the Communist Party of Vietnam to write a letter to Vietnamese leaders calling for reforms to diminish the country’s reliance on China.  Earlier this year the deployment of a billion-dollar Chinese oil rig in the South China Sea, in waters claimed by both countries, sparked violent protests in Vietnam.

    Xiaohe Cheng said tensions still remain. “I think it’s probably too early to say the nightmare is over between China and Vietnam,” he said.

    The State Department said it is calling for a de-escalation of tensions and the timely negotiation of a meaningful Code of Conduct for countries’ actions in the South China Sea.  China and ASEAN have been working on a Code of Conduct for more than a decade. 

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: antonio muldong from: philippines
    August 13, 2014 10:16 PM
    Here we go againm whew! Another stupid remark from the chinese People's Daily. It says that the U.S. is emboldening Vietnam and the Philippines into making blatant moves in claiming some island groups in Asian waters. What a laugh! china is claiming ALL of the unfortunately named South china Sea--an area which is indisputably Not this shameless country's territory--and that is not blatant! Let me ask People's Daily "journalists", do you know English at all? From the way you write, your country's interest would be far better served if you wrote only in your own language. If you insist on writing for international consumption, get your English set properly. Believe me, it could hielp.

    by: Peter from: USA
    August 13, 2014 4:09 PM
    The Chinese have all the money and power they need for global domination, and they want more, why not? So let them have the entire Pacific ocean should they want to. Just let them have it , to make them shut up. A Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu said "know your enemy know self", let's just see who they'll be dealing with by their ambition. When they get hurt don't come crying over the US shoulder. America has helped them enough to bring them out of a shabby situation. So be it, let then chose their own destiny.
    In Response

    by: mike from: USA
    August 14, 2014 11:05 PM
    Shooi everything you say might be true but it also happened long before you were born and beforwe your parents were born. You know or understand man makes mistakes but he is supposed toearn from these mistakes and not to keep reperateing the smae thing for hundreds of years. OK now you understand this rules out everything you say or it shows you are one dumb uneducated nickle worker. People showiong stupidity hundreds of years ago does not justify the CCP doing the same things today. A few years ago the CCP agreed to the laws defining nations borders to keep hostilities down. Today the CCP ignores what they agreed to then and steal land from weak nations, going to cause problems for them. These acts show the CCP is no smarter tthan nations more than one hundred years ago while the rest of the world has advanced and educated themselves. You also understand by what is reported world wide only a few people in China believe what the CCP says and NOBODY in the rest of the world believes them.
    In Response

    by: shooi tom from: usa
    August 13, 2014 9:04 PM
    Yes. After all, didn t the white people kill the natives and take
    their land in N America (including Canada), S America, Hawaii,
    Polynesia Islands, Australia, New Zealand......????? China
    should get something.

    by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
    August 13, 2014 11:44 AM
    Tension will continue to be high but under control. Neither country is free to deal with new problems. They have enough on their respective plates. China has to deal with a host of domestic issues, especially the power struggle and the discontent of Chinese under the economic pressure. US has to deal with a dysfunctional congress and Ukraine and Middle East.

    by: william li from: canada
    August 13, 2014 10:52 AM
    America get out of Asia before you fixing the Iraq problem first! America only brings chaos everywhere around the world! look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Somali, Ukraine. Shame on you!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora