News / Asia

Clinton Welcomes South China Sea Guidelines

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attends the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting in Indonesia, July 22, 2011
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attends the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting in Indonesia, July 22, 2011

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday welcomed a draft agreement between China and ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, aimed at defusing tensions over disputed waters of the South China Sea. Clinton met her Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, on the sidelines of the ASEAN regional forum in Bali.

The draft agreement committing the rival claimants to a peaceful resolution of the South China Sea dispute is vaguely worded. But U.S. officials are expressing relief over the accord, which they say should ease tensions between China and several ASEAN member states including U.S. defense treaty ally, the Philippines.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, beginning a round of consultations on the sidelines of the ASEAN forum, welcomed the agreement at a bilateral meeting with her Chinese counterpart, a meeting she said would also focus on the Korean nuclear issue.

"I want to commend China and ASEAN for working so closely together to include implementation guidelines for the declaration of conduct in the South China Sea, and of course we will discuss our mutual desire for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula,” said Clinton.

China has been locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with four ASEAN members - the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam - along with Taiwan over the South China sea and its vital shipping lanes and potential energy resources.

Seated across the table from Clinton, Foreign Minister Yang said Beijing, which has made by far the largest claim in the region, wants to see a peaceful settlement.

“I do believe that the conclusion of the guidelines is of great significance, and it will go a long way to maintaining the peace and stability and good-neighborliness in this region. And this will also provide favorable conditions for the proper handling and the settlement of the disputes among the claimants,” Yang said.

The guidelines were also welcomed earlier by Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, who said the accord - though preliminary - has already improved the political climate in the region.

“We welcome this. It’s an important first step," said Campbell. "I think it has lowered tensions. It has improved atmospherics. But clearly it is just that, a first step. And we are going to need to see some follow-on interactions between China and ASEAN.”

A senior State Department official who spoke to reporters welcomed reported diplomatic contacts on the margins of the ASEAN forum between North and South Korea.

The United States Thursday vigorously denied Japanese press reports of a possible U.S.-North Korean meeting here and the senior official said such a meeting was “unthinkable” in the absence of substantial progress in the troubled north-south Korean relationship.

The senior official said Assistant Secretary Campbell met in Bali earlier this week with Burmese Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin and laid out clear guidelines on what the new nominally-civilian Burmese government needs to do to improve relations with Washington.

The official said the results of outreach by the Obama administration to the former military government were “quite disappointing” and said the new authorities need to take “decisively different” action if Burma is to end its political isolation.

He said Clinton, in a statement at the ASEAN forum Saturday, would lay out terms for better relations, including the release of Burmese political prisoners, dialogue between the new government and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, an end to military action against ethnic minorities, and a halt to any Burmese trade with North Korean banned by U.N. resolutions.

He said despite some early “glimmers of possibility” from the new leadership, U.S. officials have not seen anything consequential and that “time is running out” for improved ties.

You May Like

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid