News / Asia

China: No Rush to Sign South China Sea Accord

South China Sea Territorial Claims
South China Sea Territorial Claims
Reuters
China is in no rush to sign a proposed agreement on maritime rules with Southeast Asia governing behavior in the disputed South China Sea, and countries should not have unrealistic expectations, the Chinese foreign minister said on Monday.
 
After years of resisting efforts by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to start talks on the proposed Code of Conduct, China said it would host talks between senior officials in September.
 
Washington has not taken sides, but Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated in Brunei last month the U.S. strategic interest in freedom of navigation through the busy sea and desire to see a Code of Conduct signed quickly.
 
Speaking in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said a lot more work on the Code of Conduct (CoC) was needed.
 
“China believes that there should be no rush. Certain countries are hoping that the CoC can be agreed on overnight. These countries are having unrealistic expectations,” China's official Xinhua news agency paraphrased Wang as saying.
 
“...The CoC concerns the interests of various parties and its formulation demands a heavy load of coordination work,” he added. “No individual countries should impose their will on others.”
 
Previous efforts to discuss the Code of Conduct had failed “due to disturbances from certain parties”, Wang said, without naming any countries.
 
“Instead of making disturbances, parties should make efforts that are conducive to the process so as to create the necessary conditions and atmosphere,” said Wang.
 
Friction over the South China Sea, one of the world's most important waterways, has surged as China uses its growing naval might to more forcefully assert its vast claims over the oil- and gas-rich sea, raising fears of a military clash.
 
Four ASEAN nations, including Vietnam and the Philippines, have overlapping claims with China.
 
China and the Philippines accuse each other of violating the Declaration of Conduct, a non-binding confidence-building agreement on maritime conduct signed by China and ASEAN in 2002.
 
Such differences could be another obstacle to agreeing on a more comprehensive pact as China has stressed that countries must first show good faith by abiding by the DoC.
 
Critics say China is intent on cementing its claims over the sea through its superior and growing naval might, and has little interest in rushing to agree to a code of conduct.
 
Divisions among ASEAN over the maritime dispute burst into the open a year ago when a summit chaired by Chinese ally Cambodia failed to issue a closing communique for the first time in the group's 45-year history.

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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
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 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 US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
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.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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