World News

Chinese Scholars Warn Against Rush on COC in South China Sea

With the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) vowing to speak with one voice on negotiating a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, Beijing finds its position of working slowly on the matter challenged by the regional group.
China, which has maritime territorial disputes with several ASEAN nations, including Vietnam and the Philippines, has said it is in "no rush" to negotiate a Code of Conduct. This puts it at odds with the Southeast Asian group, which has indicated it wants an early conclusion to the talks.
As ASEAN and China prepare for a foreign ministerial meeting in Beijing this month, the Chinese position is being portrayed in many media stories as a delaying strategy.
Su Xiaohui, deputy director of the department of international strategy at the China Institute of International Studies, explained China's position on this issue during an interview with Voice of America.

"The Chinese side has found out that it has a certain different understanding on the South China Sea COC with other related parties, including ASEAN countries. First, we want the South China Sea COC to provide a relatively good atmosphere to discuss and negotiate future territorial disputes. This is China's basic position. Other parties, however, consider South China Sea COC as an actual method to solve the South China Sea dispute. This is our difference in thinking. We believe that after an agreement is reached on conduct, all parties concerned will follow rules more closely, thus creating a good regional state of affairs, so as to solve the territorial disputes through bilateral talks."

China's rise and expansion of its naval strength has worried neighboring countries. The U.S. rebalance to Asia is seen by many as a balancing force for countries with territorial disputes with China.
Luo Yuan, a popular hawkish military scholar, criticizes the U.S. as being biased and calls the Philippines a "trouble maker."

"The Philippines is playing the role of a trouble maker on the South China Sea. The Philippines attempts to use military means to solve the South China Sea problem. It is simply impossible. The Philippines won't be able to change its balance of power with China no matter how much more weaponry it purchases. We hope the Philippines will walk with China towards the same direction and work to solve the disputes peacefully through negotiations."

The U.S. has said it is neutral in the matter of the maritime territorial disputes and is urging ASEAN and China to settle the issue through peaceful, multilateral negotiations.
But China has said it will only discuss the territorial disputes in bilateral talks.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Gerson Boston from: Philippines
August 20, 2013 5:11 AM
I beg to disagree on the context of this argument. There is a need to decide on the COC to set a guidelines on the conduct of all parties as far as freedom of navigation and territorial disputes are concern. If China decides a status quo then China has to walk the talk. They cannot forced everyone to agree and yet China doesn't seem interested to honor other parties claims. This is bullying tactic. Luo Yuan needs to study more if he is indeed a scholar. War is inevitable if China wants to project that he is powerful and just tramp on weak countries. China will have its time if he continues to do so with in his militaristic ambition.
In Response

by: jack from: malaysia
August 23, 2013 6:59 AM
It seems to me the only reasonable "settlement"for the Philippines is for China to relinquish its' claim and accept Philippines' sovereignthy.Joint economic development would therefore have to settle the sovereignthy issue first.Since both China and Philippines will not back off from their' sovereignthy claims, there would never be a Malaysia-Thailand, China-Malaysia and'China- Brunei approach of shelving sovereignthy issues to focus on economic development of the resources. For the weaker a nation, there is only outcome--she is going to lose out on the economic benefits afforded by joint development with the stronger party.
In Response

by: John from: California
August 20, 2013 7:16 PM
I do not find China's position totally unreasonable. COC sets the guidelines for the CONDUCT of claimers so as to avoid conflict and misunderstanding. This is a first step. Trying to set guideline for RESOLVING terrritorial disputes will make the negotiation of COC unduely complicated and long, which is not good for stability in the meantime.

Philippines, however, seems eagerly wanting to settle the issue immediately, and is pursuing several inconsistent and incoherent actions - submitting claim through tribunal, pressuring ASEAN for a group stand for COC and dispute stand, building up military... None of these, in my opinion, is going to solve problem nor even change China's position a single bit. Not surprisingly, she is viewed as "trouble maker" by China.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs