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.
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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid