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

British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign Jihadists More

Audio Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid