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

    Pentagon: Afghan Hospital Bombing Not a War Crime

    US Central Command's Joseph Votel says probe found tragedy was result of 'extraordinarily intense situation' that included multiple equipment failures

    US Minorities Link Guns with Other Social Ills

    New study finds reduction in gun violence could help lower America’s incarceration rate – the world’s highest - and improve relationships between police, citizens in minority communities

    Speeding Causes Spike in Deaths on South African Roads

    At least 14,000 people die each year from country’s traffic-related incidents; authorities criticized on issues of safety, legal enforcement

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkey Islamists

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora