News / Asia

China Ready to Join South China Sea Talks

China Ready to Join South China Sea Talksi
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Scott Stearns
July 12, 2012
China on Thursday appeared closer to agreeing to hold talks on a code of conduct to resolve competing territorial claims over the South China Sea. The standoff has dominated a meeting of regional foreign ministers in Cambodia. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns is there.

China Ready to Join South China Sea Talks

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PHNOM PENH – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met Thursday in Cambodia to discuss how best to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Secretary Clinton said no nation can fail to be concerned by the increase in tensions and the uptick in controversial rhetoric over the South China Sea.

"We have seen worrisome instances of economic coercion and the problematic use of military and government vessels in connection with disputes among fishermen," she said.

China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan all have competing claims to parts of the South China Sea. The dispute dominated talks here at the meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN this week failed to agree on a unified approach to a code of conduct governing resolution of the standoff.  But U.S. officials say Chinese Foreign Minister Yang gave Secretary Clinton "a careful indication" that Beijing is willing to join a dialogue on the code as soon as September, ahead of November's ASEAN summit here in Cambodia.

Yang said China and the United States are building a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. Beijing and Washington are continuing toexpand common ground, respect each other and "properly handle differences and sensitive issues," he said.

The Obama administration is not taking sides in any of the disputes over maritime boundaries in the South China Sea, Clinton said.

"But we do have a fundamental interest in freedom of navigation, the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, and unimpeded lawful commerce. And we believe the nations of the region should work collaboratively and diplomatically to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threats, and certainly without the use of force," she said.

China says ASEAN is not the place to resolve these disputes because it is not about the regional forum, it is between China and some ASEAN members.

Secretary Clinton agreed that, wherever possible, territorial issues should be resolved between claimants.

But she added that broader questions about conduct in disputed areas and about acceptable methods of resolving disputes should be addressed in multilateral settings such as ASEAN "because approaching them strictly bilaterally could be a recipe for confusion and even confrontation."

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by: Trana ly from: Phnom Penh
July 14, 2012 11:23 PM
We love all countries in the world except the Vietnamese invader, without US, China, and the West intervention to grind the Vietnamese then Cambodia would become like present Laos under the Viet command or like Champa and Kampuchia Krom=the entire southern land which Vietnam plundered from Cambodia. Pol Pot regime originally is the remnant of Hanoi expansionism, China used to help Pol Pot but the real Killer is Vietcong, Vietnam. Cambodia has done a good job to shut up the Viet talkative claiming what not belong to yours. Be ashame of Pham Van Dong, your great leader, signed the treaty to recognize China, sole owner of South China Sea around your house... Be happy to accept the reality, don't live in the past my comrades.


by: Kalash from: Siberia
July 13, 2012 9:47 PM
China wants land from Russia, from India, Tibet, Uyghur, then now entire of South China Sea - thought it means the ocean in the south of China. What's wrong with China? over populated??


by: Ahui from: Bangkok
July 13, 2012 1:12 PM
Tran from Saigon, you are ready to die by the bullet pushed through your head or ready to eat the bomb. We Chinese will bring the Viet-dynasty of prostitute to our feet. You all should learn the history from the time when the Vietnamese slave of China.

In Response

by: remie from: canada
July 14, 2012 1:00 AM
@ahui r u readyto run u coward. Your people r the dumbest and weakest race. Per population u have done nothing great. 2 billion handicap. All ur good is being sneaky and ur not even good at that because everbody knows ur sneaky.

In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
July 13, 2012 9:06 PM
Chinese around the world, from Singapore to Taiwan to Hongkong to Macao to Mainland and from all other countries should unit and support China's claim of Diaoyu islands and south China sea!
Next century belongs to China!

In Response

by: Bomay from: Indo
July 13, 2012 3:01 PM
Ahui: Don't ever threaten people on eblog, don't ever insult other people, when was the last time you visit a temple in Bangkok?

In Response

by: Tran from: Saigon
July 13, 2012 2:43 PM
Where were you in 1979?? You are actually living on the wellknown of prostitution place on earth...no need to move your feet. Through your expression I believe Chinese people in mainland is better educated than you in Bangkok.


by: Buuho from: Sanghai
July 13, 2012 2:19 AM
It is time China must teach the Vietnamese communist, oppressor on ethnic minorities Champa, Hmong and Khmer Krom of whole south Vietnam, a lesson for their ignorant claims on South China Sea. We strongly support the solely Chinese sovereignty over sea land with the Viet. Vietnamese leader, Pham Van Dong already accepted China as the owner of the sea with signed treaty, why you Vietnamese try to neglect it? Do you Vietnamese never respect your ancestor's words?

In Response

by: remie from: canada
July 14, 2012 1:06 AM
@buuho, come try u weakling and u r the one who opprese tibetian, minorities in ur country. Look in mirror chinamen. Also ur news and history r all filter but u wouldnt know because ur bias and brainwash.

In Response

by: Tran from: Saigon
July 13, 2012 10:28 AM
Fighting has happened bewteen China and Vietnam for many centuries...where were you in 1979. Do you respect your ancestors like Quin Shi Huang, Mao Zedong, etc.. Vietnamese people only respect the respected ancestors. We would condem our ancestors who kill our own people or treat people like animal. Remember Tiananmen Square massacre...I respected the chinese people who has died for their right but not chinese leaders. We are ready.....


by: trana ly from: Phnom Penh
July 13, 2012 1:45 AM
Come on, big brother, China crushes the landless Vietnamese Kinh to ash, how can you Vietnam argue with China on all lands which belonged to China long time ago, You robber Vietnamese Kinh never learnt any lessons which China used to teach you. China used to colonize you more than a thousand year, you pushy Kinh forgot?

In Response

by: remie from: canada
July 14, 2012 1:16 AM
@trana,u r bias because china gives u money just like a begger. Also u r upset because vietnam kick ur behind over and over. But ur not smart enough to realize china is looking at ur country next.

In Response

by: Tran from: Saigon
July 13, 2012 1:28 PM
China, your big brother is the only country on earth support Pol Pot not Vietnam or any other civil countries on this planet. Well, North Korea is another example, think about it.


by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
July 12, 2012 11:44 PM
Democratic Taiwan just sent several warship to escort Chinese civilians to visit Diaoyu islands. Democratic Taiwan is also US ally and also claims whole south China sea!
Diaoyu island and south china sea belong to all Chinese!

In Response

by: Xung from: Saigon
July 13, 2012 1:16 PM
When will the China warship escort the democratic Taiwan warship to hell??? I have a broken toilet seat which was made in China, you want it back?


by: Chi from: China
July 12, 2012 10:39 PM
To those who is talking about history but knows nothing about it I would suggest you to start to learn from your own history first before your comments. Otherwise you will fail to answer who killed Amerindian/Indians and ocuupied their lands and who should be out from America! Who is the first to invent and apply the bloody autom bomb!

To those who is talking about contract I would say someone should follow the contracts of those organizations initiated by themselves, such as the international laws, the UN pricinples, etc. Intead of shouting around according to his own rule and willingness just like an evil minded policeman or a gang leader.


by: Tom from: Miami, FL
July 12, 2012 1:23 PM
China does not want to settle the dispute in ASEAN because it does not want a third party to have authority over any agreement made between China and the other countries involved in this dispute. Without a third party authority, China is free to break the agreement with impunity.

This situation is similar to what Hobbes describes in the Leviathan. Men that enter into contracts with each other need an external party to ensure that the contract is upheld by both parties. If the agreement is not upheld by one of the men, the external party can dispense the appropriate punishment. Without this external party, no guarnatee exists that either men will uphold their promise.

In Response

by: Ben from: Seattle, Wa
July 13, 2012 2:28 AM
If ownership of a property is disputed amongst more than two claimants (in this case 6), then how does any agreement between any two claimants solve anything? Looks like this will drag on as a perpetual mess. The only way to solve this mess is if all 6 claimants share the property in common peacefully. The reality is in peace we all prosper, and in war we all suffer. This is the destiny of humanity. It has been proven correct time and time again.

In Response

by: charles from: china
July 12, 2012 11:48 PM
first of all, all those now-disputed areas belonged to china years ago. the reason they have become disputed is the CPC government's neglect after they took office and focused on domesticd problems.
and now even we adimit they are disputed, any biliateral disputes of course should be resolved by the related two parties. what business does it have to do with a third party?
only one thing i agree on about a third party thing is, once the disputes are sovled and an agreement is reached, then a third party should be wathching it's upheld. at least there's UN.

In Response

by: Quasimodo from: South china Sea
July 12, 2012 10:12 PM
We chinese normally think the government is to weak. They should learn from US. to use force to attack Japan like US do to Iraqi.


by: Tony from: Cali
July 12, 2012 12:48 PM
Does any one believe that the Chinese government will sincerely cooperate in resolving such disputes?
In fact, to realize their Han Chinese expansionism, they have always deliberately caused territorial disputes with all their neighboring countries such as Russia, Japan, India, Vietnam, the Philipines, to name a few. It is obvious that they have made China a disgusting country and a real threat to the world's peace and stability.
What do you think the other nations should do to protect themselves?


by: Thuoc hay la thuoc dang from: Dallas, USA
July 12, 2012 10:39 AM
China will try to delay or postpone any talk to any country, and they will gradually increase the military efforts to take over the South Sea territories from the other countries. They already determine to do just that with their map covering almost the entire South Sea.

In Response

by: Dan from: Boston,MA
July 12, 2012 1:43 PM
For your information, the Chinese map covered most of the entire South China Sea from decades ago, even before the UN Law of the Seas was baked.

In Response

by: Anonymous
July 12, 2012 1:15 PM
That's why there is a need right now for ASEAN+3(Japan,Korea,Australia) to quickly build a solid defense bloc to stop China from advancing further.

In Response

by: Zafar from: Melbourne
July 12, 2012 11:21 AM
The point is.. is this even a disputed land/sea? Just like Tibet, they stated its Disputed and then invaded.. China has issues and disputes with every land around every country...
Its old Mao trick to create a dispute then tell international busniess houses and counteries to stay out because its disputed; once world knows its disputed chinese have won half of the war... The issue is there is dispute even to say its disputed puts chinese in a position to be 50% owning it and they will use force once its deemed disputed.. history says it time and again... Chinese people are ok but the communist rulers are crazy... they can go to any length even kill there own citizens so forget a country which opposes..
Xinjiang, Tibet and inner mogolia fall on their toes and now they are after Taiwan..
What chinese are trying to do is to go back and change the maps pre dated 1800s and claiming terroteries which were loosely held by the rulers... going by that rule Japan and India should own most of asia... only a sick country like china will do that...

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