News / Asia

Philippines, Vietnam Agree to Cooperate on Maritime Dispute with China

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, right, welcomes Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh for their 7th Meeting of the Philippines-Vietnam Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) in Manila, Philippines, Aug. 1, 2013 .
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, right, welcomes Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh for their 7th Meeting of the Philippines-Vietnam Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) in Manila, Philippines, Aug. 1, 2013 .
Simone Orendain
Foreign ministers from the Philippines and Vietnam said they have agreed to work together on a framework for resolving maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea.  Both countries have clashed with China over competing territorial claims.
 
Maritime security was a top issue in Thursday’s talks between Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
 
Del Rosario told reporters after the meeting that he and Minh agreed to work more closely together to try to convince the rest of ASEAN’s 10 member states to push for substantive progress in a meeting with Chinese officials later this year.  “We want to be able to bring it to a negotiations stage. Consultation probably is not enough.  We need to talk about negotiation,” he stated.
 
Eleven years ago the parties signed a non-binding declaration stating that they would approach sovereign disputes in the resource-rich sea through peaceful means.  Six signatories including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei have entire or partial claims to the sea.
 
Since then, the Philippines and Vietnam have been the most vocal about what they call intrusions into their waters by China, which claims almost the entire sea.  The two countries have complained of Chinese vessels harassing their fishing fleets, poaching sea-resources and occupying reefs and rocky formations.
 
Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Some countries, including the United States, have been calling for a legally binding code of conduct to govern such standoffs at sea.  But other Southeast Asian states with no territorial claims in the sea have been slow to act. China, which has opposed outside interference, has said it would come to the table to negotiate such a code when “the time was ripe.”
 
In January, the Philippines brought its complaint, over what it calls China’s excessive territorial claims,  before a United Nations arbitration tribunal.  China rejected the filing and a tribunal panel started meetings on the case in mid-July.  Del Rosario said he and his Vietnamese counterpart discussed a number of options on how to proceed but gave few details.
 
“We’re discussing the possibilities of how we may be able to cooperate more closely with them in terms of the settling of these disputes,” Del Rosario said.
 
Vietnamese Foreign Minister Minh did not speak with reporters following the meeting.
 
ASEAN foreign ministers are scheduled to discuss the South China Sea code of conduct in Thailand later this month, before a meeting later this year with Chinese authorities.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

All About America

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