News / Asia

Clinton Urges ASEAN, China to Agree on Maritime Conduct Code

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures as she speaks with Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa during a joint news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta, September 3, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures as she speaks with Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa during a joint news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta, September 3, 2012.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has begun a visit to Indonesia by urging the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China to agree on a code of conduct for resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Speaking in Jakarta late Monday, Clinton said the United States has a national interest in maintaining stability and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, which is home to islands claimed by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei. She called on the parties not to increase tensions through "coercive" or "intimidating" steps to advance their claims.

Clinton made the comments at a joint news conference with her Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalagawa. The United States has been urging Indonesia and ASEAN's nine other members to reach a consensus on enforcing a code of conduct for the South China Sea before persuading China, which is not a member of ASEAN,  to also adopt the guidelines.

The code of conduct would be aimed at preventing sovereignty disputes from escalating in the resource-rich waters that include key shipping lanes for international cargo. China has preferred to negotiate the disputes individually with the rival claimants.

ASEAN failed to agree on enforcement guidelines for a code of conduct at a summit in July. The regional body is headquartered in Jakarta.

The United States has said it takes no position on the sovereignty of the South China Sea islands in dispute but it also criticized China's recent establishment of a military garrison in the disputed waters as a provocative move.

Chinese Foreign Minister spokesman Hong Lei said Monday Beijing hopes the United States will promote peace and stability in the region by "not taking sides" in Chinese maritime disputes with neighboring states. Clinton travels to China later Tuesday for two days of talks with senior Chinese leaders.

Clinton arrived in Jakarta from the Cook Islands, where she began a six-nation Asia-Pacific tour. She was due to meet Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday. Her talks also were expected to include trade and human rights issues.

U.S. exports to Indonesia increased to $7.4 billion in 2011 from $5.1 billion in 2009. Indonesian imports to the United States rose to $19.1 billion from $12.9 billion in the same period.

In Monday's news conference, Clinton said she and Natalagawa agreed that there should be no discrimination against religious minorities. Earlier, a U.S. official said Clinton viewed recent incidents of Islamist mob violence against Indonesian minorities as "disturbing" and planned to ask how authorities will respond to the problem.

U.S.-based rights group Human Rights Watch issued a statement Sunday urging Clinton to raise the issue with the Indonesian government. It accused Jakarta of implementing what it called "oppressive laws and policies against religious minorities [that] fuel violence and discrimination."

Indonesia is world's largest Muslim-majority nation.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid