News / Asia

China Slams Western Involvement in S. China Sea Issue

WASHINGTON — China is responding to accusations that it scuttled Southeast Asian unity over the South China Sea by lashing out at what it calls Western meddling among rival claimants. The Obama administration, though, says China should not pursue a "divide-and-conquer" strategy in the maritime standoff.

Chinese patrols in waters also claimed by Vietnam and the Philippines are deepening animosities in the South China Sea.

"What we’re most concerned about at the moment is that tensions are going up among the stakeholders. So we want to see a commitment to a deal that meets the needs of all," said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

Engagement through ASEAN

Washington believes that deal should come through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

But Beijing says the South China Sea is an issue for rival claimants to decide among themselves. On a trip to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said ASEAN should focus on broader goals.

"Peace, stability and development in East Asia is our common aspiration," said Yang. "In a complicated international situation, we need to maintain regional stability, promote mutual trust, and boost economic growth."

When ASEAN foreign ministers last month failed to agree on a unified approach to the maritime dispute, China was roundly criticized for dividing the group.

Following Yang's trip, however, China's official Xinhua news agency lashed out at those accusations, saying ASEAN unity was undermined by Western "meddling" meant to "smear China's positive role."

Nuland says ASEAN countries want to protect their larger security interests.

"They came at it from different perspectives, and rather than whitewashing that problem and having a weak communiqué that didn’t say much, they chose to continue to talk about it," she said.

Yang said ASEAN members value their friendship with China, since the bloc has become Beijing's third-largest trading partner.

Determining China's agenda

Justin Logan, who directs foreign policy studies at the U.S. Cato Institute, said Chinese contracts remain a lucrative incentive for ASEAN members without claims to the South China Sea.

"I think the chances for a code of conduct that meant something, at the outset, were low," he said. "And so I think that what this might do is create a clearer distinction between ASEAN countries and their position on China."

Nuland said a divisive strategy by China would not be good.

"If bilateral diplomacy can be supportive of an ultimate, multilateral framework, then that will be fine; but we don’t think that cutting deals with these countries individually is going to work, let alone be the expedient way or the best way under international law to get this done," she said.

Yang said China backs ASEAN's leading role at the East Asia Summit and at next month's meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Russia.

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Do Van Toan from: Viet nam
August 16, 2012 2:38 PM
Easr sea belong to China? Ridiculous!. China 's so greedy and agressive.
In Response

by: Chan Phan from: USA
August 19, 2012 2:11 PM
Northern Vietnam also used to belong to China. So, the Chinese may also claim it on a historical basis, but that does not make sense, does it? Similarly, China's claims on the Paracel and Spratly islands are utterly ridiculous.
In Response

by: Suon from: Uk
August 18, 2012 4:08 AM
Why don't the Vietnamse give they land and islands it tools from Cambodia when they invaded the country in 1978? Because you accuse me of Chinese, I am a Cambodian! You took our land which is now south Vietnam when you were kicked out of China!
In Response

by: Zhuo from: China
August 17, 2012 7:17 AM
There is no doubt that South China Sea belongs to China. China is friendly on that things , we also don't want to somethings unexpected happen... but...

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
August 16, 2012 8:15 AM
SCS belongs to China, but we can share the benefits from it with VN and Fino. It's the best solution for all parts.
In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
August 16, 2012 11:43 AM
Why would VN or PH share benefits in SCS with China when China is the invader of Paracel and Spratley islands from Vietnam and PH? China continue to kill innocent, defenceless Vietnamese fishermen. It is China's trickery to bully and argue that VN and PH agreed that these islands belong to China

by: Din from: China
August 16, 2012 4:36 AM
When China proclaims it is a peaceful nation without aggressive military intentions, think again. China is beginning to flex its new-found military muscle, and this is just the beginning.

by: CK from: Viet Nam
August 16, 2012 4:01 AM
Seems that China has it own strategy for the dispute claimants but it cannot release at this very period due to remaining misunderstandings from VN and Philippines. Cooperation between these 3 nations still there and needed further negotiation without interference from other not-related countries (US).
In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
August 16, 2012 10:17 AM
CK, again I said don`t post that you are from Vietnam. You are Chinese. Your opinion does not reflect that of Vietnamese people within and outside of Vietnam. This again show sneaky tactics by Chinese to claim all islands in East sea. All Vietnamese welcome U.S. presence in South East Asia. Only coward Vietnam Communist party negotiate with China.

by: TIGER from: SHANGHAI
August 15, 2012 11:07 PM
ASEAN is so fragile that cant take any temptation. It likes a husband has a affair, but blame the lady's allure.

by: Anonymous
August 15, 2012 6:52 PM
China is actually conquering South China Sea by bribery money. ASEAN is nothing but an association of corruption. USA just can't do anything about that.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs