News / Asia

Indonesian FM Stresses Need for Dialogue on South China Sea

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, September 28, 2012.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, September 28, 2012.
Kate Lamb
After a year of tension involving maritime territorial disputes in Asia, Indonesia's foreign minister is stressing the need for more dialogue - especially with recent political transitions in Washington and Beijing and new administrations possible in Seoul and Tokyo.
 
After the Association of Southeast Asian Nations failed to reach a broad consensus on a framework for resolving disputes in the South China Sea, regional countries have been adopting their own policies to address the uncertainty.  

The Chinese province of Hainan recently announced that it would allow the interception of ships in the contested area. China also created controversy when it issued passports with a map that includes the disputed territories as Chinese land.
 
The moves generated a backlash in Vietnam and the Philippines and now India is also weighing in.
 
The Indian Navy has suggested it is prepared to defend its joint oil interests from Chinese aggression.
 
A key mediator in the regional maritime power play, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa says that adopting a set of guidelines is now more important than ever.
 
"We are seeing a lot of political transitions in capitals in our region, of course the United States has gone through its political transition period,  as well in China. And soon enough, we will have elections in Japan, in Korea so it is a state of flux, of course not just between countries, but within those concerned as well. So we need to have to some kind of certainty, some benchmark," Natalegawa explained. "A code of conduct by which we can address issues of common interest within our region."
 
Natalegawa has consistently rallied regional leaders to agree to a code of conduct.
 
But, when the proposal was rejected at the ASEAN summit this November, analysts said Indonesia had overestimated its diplomatic clout.
 
Acknowledging that talk of norms and guidelines has led to some pre-preemptive moves on the ground and at sea, the foreign minister says he is confident about the region’s future.
 
He argues that decades of regional stability have led to a clear economic dividend - one that is in the interests of all parties to maintain.
 
But Aleksius Jemadu, dean of global affairs at Jakarta’s Pelita Harapan University says that convincing China will be no easy task. 

"The problem is can you persuade China to part of it or to be committed to it when it has to emphasize its strategic interests, that is the problem," said Jemadu. "First it is about strategic interests, the continuation of energy security for China, second is about territorial integrity. Third is about pride as a new superpower. China is not going to be bullied again by other major powers.”
 
ASEAN members Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Philippines, all claim parts of the energy-rich sea. But China maintains that is has sovereignty over almost the entire sea.
 
Home to some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the South China Sea is also believed to be rich in oil and gas.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: bryc from: islamabad
December 11, 2012 7:06 AM
Taiwan is a province of china.


by: TruLeaf from: Canada
December 11, 2012 12:06 AM
Not only do all members of ASEAN need to have a broad consensus, the whole world should speak with one voice against this ever growing aggression from China. If China has convincing evidence for their territorial claims, give them to the international community and let them decide. As mighty as the Nazi once was, still it was brought to its knees by a united world and China should take a page from the history and abandon its rapacious appetite for world hegemony. The people of China should realize that Zhongnanhai is taking them down to the dangerous path of nationalism, war and destruction and do something about it. Make sure there won’t be another version of pastor Martin-Niemöller's:

First they came for the Paracels/ Spratlys,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Vietnamese

Then they came for the Scaborough Shoal,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Filipino

Then they came for the Senkaku,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Japanese

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

UNITED WE STAND!


by: SEATO
December 10, 2012 6:16 PM
It is a waste of time talking to or persuading China to agree to some Codes of Conduct because that would legally restrict them in their attempts to seize by force land and sea areas which are under other countries' administration. Any appeal for dialogue to China would be seen as sign of weakness and fears. With America still too reluctant to get involved and ASEAN countries too divided, China knew it could terrorise and intimidate its neighbours into submission. An increasingly powerful and assertive China who has no respect for laws and reasons,but plenty of war tendencies,is a threat to all mankind. With America untrustworthy as proven since the Vietnam war, South East Asia's future could only be secured by a South East Asian Treaty Organisation like NATO with India and Japan at the helm. A more assertive and resolute Japan and India would be beneficial to world stability and an effective deterrence to China's territorial ambitions

In Response

by: Quintus from: China
December 11, 2012 10:20 AM
I think that maybe you dont understand Chinese culture and people as Chinese people know yours. nobody wants to start a war besides China, the people there wish peaceful and stable life. Chinese want to be friends with the people all over the word. If you have more acquaintance about Chinese people, maybe you will change your mind. Because of my poor English, i cant state my idea deeply and clearly.

In Response

by: Kamikaze from: Japan
December 11, 2012 5:34 AM
Every country must be aware of Chinese aggression not only by its military forces but also by its economical trap. China makes a tender face in front of countries in distress, offering bubble money to lure them; however, once China succeeds to win them around to its side, it makes a monstrous face. By that time, China has robbed the countries of all resources including lands. U.S, Japan, and other countries must unite to eliminate this monstrous country, i.e., Communist China, from the world.

In Response

by: Ian from: USA
December 10, 2012 9:00 PM
A very wise comment .
I agree that the best time to deal with any future potential problem for the southeast asian countries & Japan is to join force now instead hoping for a better behaviour from the agressor . It will only gets worse .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid