News / Asia

Kerry at ASEAN Forum for Talks on S. China Sea Disputes

ASEAN: US-China Hold Talks on South China Sea Disputesi
X
July 01, 2013 5:25 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Brunei for a regional forum of the Association of South East Asian Nations, or ASEAN. The group is hoping to agree on a legally binding code of conduct to manage a series of territorial disputes in the South China Sea among China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. As VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from Brunei, the U.S. Navy is increasingly active in the South China Sea and in joint operations with the Philippines.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Brunei for a regional forum of the Association of South East Asian Nations, or ASEAN. The group is hoping to agree on a legally binding code of conduct to manage a series of territorial disputes in the South China Sea among China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. The U.S. Navy is increasingly active in the South China Sea and in joint operations with the Philippines.

U.S.-Philippine naval cooperation includes unmanned surveillance of waters under dispute with China. 

"The unmanned aerial vehicle will be a very very important tool in our operations in safeguarding the entire maritime territory," said Philippine Navy Lieutenant Rommel Rodriguez.

China is especially concerned about Philippine plans to upgrade the former U.S. naval base at Subic Bay, just 240 kilometers from a disputed shoal that China has controlled since 2012.

China's Communist Party newspaper said a "counterstrike" against the Philippines is inevitable if Manila continues what Beijing calls "unscrupulous" tricks.

"China urges the Philippines and regional countries to meet one another halfway, make joint efforts to maintain mutual trust between countries, make positive efforts towards regional peace and security and play a constructive role," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

Washington said it is not taking sides in the South China Sea and wants to help resolve the disputes peacefully as part of its refocusing on Asia.

"It's certainly part of the rebalance that the U.S. is looking to reinforce not only militarily but economically and politically with Asia," said U.S. Rear Admiral Thomas Carney.

A more active U.S. Navy with a Visiting Forces Agreement in the Philippines is an important check on China, says University of the Philippines professor Clarita Carlos.

"Given all the provocations from China in trying to get for herself all those islands, reefs, etc., and other features in the South China Sea, I think this is one way of telegraphing to her, we also have the capability if we want to, of course supported by the United States of America," Carlos explained.

But a more aggressive Philippines may make China even less willing to compromise, says American University professor Pek Koon Heng.

"It's going to make it even more difficult. It's going to just harden the Chinese position about working with ASEAN," he added.

Heng expects this year's ASEAN ministerial in Brunei to be far different from last year's meeting in Cambodia where China helped scuttle a code of conduct for the South China Sea.

"Secretary Kerry has got an ASEAN that is more cohesive after China divided ASEAN in the last foreign minister meeting," Heng said.

Foreign ministers at this meeting are also expected to discuss the war in Syria, as well as a U.S. surveillance program leaked by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid