News / Asia

China, Vietnam Talks End Without Progress on Maritime Conflict

General view of the meeting between Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (5th L) and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (5th R) at the Government's Guesthouse, in Hanoi, June 18, 2014.
General view of the meeting between Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (5th L) and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (5th R) at the Government's Guesthouse, in Hanoi, June 18, 2014.
Victoria Macchi
Chinese and Vietnamese officials meeting in Hanoi Wednesday have failed to resolve the most recent flare-up in a long-standing maritime conflict in the South China Sea.

Both sides maintained their positions in the first high-level talks since the May deployment of a Chinese state-run oil rig that led to a standoff at sea and deadly anti-China protests in Vietnam.

China's Foreign Ministry quotes State Councilor and top diplomat Yang Jiechi as telling Vietnam to stop disturbing Chinese operations in the area and "hyping up" disputes over an island chain he called "China's inherent territory."

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who met with Yang Wednesday, is quoted by the official Vietnam News Agency as saying China is violating international law.  He called for the withdrawal of the Chinese rig and ships, which are scheduled to remain in the area until mid-August.  

Vietnam says Chinese ships sank one of its vessels and damaged 24 others, as well as injured 12 members of its fisheries surveillance force; but, China accuses Vietnamese ships of being the aggressors, saying they have rammed Chinese vessels 120 times since early May.

Yang earlier acknowledged that the dispute is damaging relations between the two communist-led countries, which fought a bloody, three-week border battle in 1979.  

"China and Vietnam relations are experiencing a difficult period.  On this trip, as appointed by our Central Committee, I am to discuss candidly and thoroughly with Mr. Pham Binh Minh the two countries' relations and current issues in the South China Sea," said Yang.  

The head of Vietnam’s Communist Party, Nguyen Phu Trong, who also met with Yang on Wednesday, said Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos in the South China Sea, which the Vietnamese call the East Sea, is “unchanged and unchangeable,” according to the official Vietnam News Agency.

Carl Thayer, an expert on the South China Sea at the Australian Defense Force Academy, said Wednesday's meeting addressed other issues between the two countries than just the conflict, and was never intended to be a reconciliation.  

"...The meeting itself, which touched on the oil rig, didn't solve anything, but it shouldn't have been expected to," said Thayer. "This is just the preliminary round.  Both sides laying down their markers and China probably using this to intimidate Vietnam."

Thayer added that further attempts to manage the crisis will not happen until the rig is moved, reportedly in mid-August.

The United States has said it does not take sides in the dispute and wants countries in the region to settle their differences peacefully.

China's territorial claims in the South China Sea overlap with those of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Tra Mi contributed to this report from Washington.
 This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs