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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid