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
Comments
     
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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs