News / Asia

Beijing Eases Anti-Philippine Talk, Holds Firm on Territorial Dispute

Filipinos chant anti-China slogans over the disputed Scarborough Shoal islands in the South China Sea claimed by both nations as they march toward the Chinese consulate in the Makati financial district of Manila, Philippines, May 11, 2012. Filipinos chant anti-China slogans over the disputed Scarborough Shoal islands in the South China Sea claimed by both nations as they march toward the Chinese consulate in the Makati financial district of Manila, Philippines, May 11, 2012.
x
Filipinos chant anti-China slogans over the disputed Scarborough Shoal islands in the South China Sea claimed by both nations as they march toward the Chinese consulate in the Makati financial district of Manila, Philippines, May 11, 2012.
Filipinos chant anti-China slogans over the disputed Scarborough Shoal islands in the South China Sea claimed by both nations as they march toward the Chinese consulate in the Makati financial district of Manila, Philippines, May 11, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Stephanie Ho

BEIJING - The Chinese government is not yielding in its weeks-long maritime territorial dispute with the Philippines, although it is softening some of its sharp rhetoric.

 

It is no surprise that China continues to squarely blame the Philippines for the dispute over rocky Scarborough Shoal, which the Chinese call Huangyan Island.

 

In a report Wednesday, the state-run Xinhua news agency said the latest dispute was sparked in April, when a Philippine warship harassed 12 Chinese fishing vessels that had sailed to Huangyan Island to escape bad weather.

 

Despite strong Chinese protests, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei's comment about the dispute to reporters Wednesday was relatively subdued. He called on Manila to acknowledge what he described as China's clear and consistent position that it has indisputable sovereignty over the island.

 

Hong said the Philippines should truly respect China's territorial integrity and sovereignty. He added Beijing's demand that Manila pursue diplomatic negotiation over the issue.

 

On Wednesday, in a different maritime territorial dispute, Chinese negotiators met with their Japanese counterparts to discuss overlapping claims to the Diaoyu Islands, which the Japanese call the Senkaku Islands.

 

In recent years, there have been heated exchanges over the Diaoyu Islands, but Wang Dong, associate professor of international relations at Peking University, said both sides are now ready to negotiate.

 

"I think on the Japan-China case, I think both governments, both Beijing and Tokyo, they do have the political will and desire to pursue diplomatic consultation and negotiation over the maritime disputes," said Wang.

 

In contrast, the China-Philippines dispute is still unfolding. Wang accused the Philippines of complicating matters by, in his words, "throwing around provocative statements and actions," including efforts to claim U.S. protection.

 

"And, apparently, I think they wanted to count on the American - sort of, to some extent - play the United States against China," he said.

The United States has a mutual defense treaty with the Philippines, but Washington already has stated that it does not take sides in the current conflict between Beijing and Manila, and wants the issue resolved peacefully.

 

Li Jinming, a professor at Xiamen University's research center of Southeast Asian Studies, said he thinks Washington is doing the right thing.

 

Li said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already has said the United States will not take sides on the issue, but that China and the Philippines need to resolve the issue peacefully. He said if the Americans can maintain this attitude, he thinks it could have a good effect on the dispute.

 

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

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