News / Asia

    Kerry: Law, Not Coercion, Key to Resolving Sea Disputes

    Kerry: Law, Not Coercion, Key to South China Sea Disputesi
    X
    August 14, 2014 10:57 AM
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says resolving competing territorial claims in the South China Sea is about respecting international law and not about rival claimants trying to intimidate each other. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports that Kerry spoke in Hawaii at the end of a week-long trip to Asia.
    Kerry: Law, Not Coercion, Key to South China Sea Disputes

    Speaking in Hawaii after a week-long trip to Asia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said resolving competing territorial claims in the South China Sea is about respecting international law, not rival claimants trying to intimidate each other.

    Secretary Kerry said disputed mineral and fishing rights in the South China Sea underlie more fundamental legal questions of sovereignty and rights of free passage.

    "You know they're really about more than claims to islands and reefs and rocks and the economic interests that flow from them. They're about whether might makes right or whether global rules and norms and rule of law and international law will prevail," said Kerry.

    The South China Sea is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, where China's coast guard already has clashed with vessels from both Vietnam and the Philippines. Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also have competing claims in the South China Sea, where Kerry says a constructive US-China relationship will contribute to stability.

    "President Obama has made it clear that the United States welcomes the rise of a peaceful, prosperous and stable China -- one that plays a responsible role in Asia and the world, and supports rules and norms on economic and security issues,” said Kerry.

    Kerry added that Washington wants to avoid "the trap of strategic rivalry" with China. But China over the weekend helped undercut U.S. efforts to freeze provocative actions in the South China Sea, further eroding Washington's so-called pivot of diplomatic and military resources, said American Enterprise Institute analyst Michael Auslin.

    "Look at the way that the waterscape in Asia has changed. Look at China's increasing coercion bordering on aggression right now. You're not doing anything about that. And yet at every turn, at every occasion you remind us about how important the pivot is to you. I just think people don't know what to make of it," said Auslin.

    With the Philippines and Vietnam looking to Washington for help, American University professor Hillary Mann Leverett said China is pushing U.S. allies to the point where Beijing believes Washington will show the weakness of its Asia policy by failing to come to their aid.

    "It's a really focused, determined strategy based on assumptions that the United States is not really going to put its military wherewithal into the South China Sea to fight China over issues that it doesn't really care about," said Leverett.

    Such a perception, she said, hurts Washington at a time when Beijing and Moscow see a greater common cause.

    "The concern about U.S. policy has been pushing Russia and China together now for a few years, particularly since the start of the Arab Awakening, over Libya, over Syria. We've been seeing them coming together more and more, especially on hydrocarbon issues,” continued Leverett.

    Kerry said the Obama administration is working to raise trade and investment standards in Asia because national interests are advanced not just by troops or by diplomats, but by entrepreneurs and good corporate citizens as well.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: charli from: virginia
    August 18, 2014 12:01 PM
    I'm calling all the people of the world, stop buying cheap substandard chinese junks. This what happens if you keep on buying these junks, you are helping another modern day Nazi to rise in power. Let all those junks rot in store shelves. Let us bring this aggressor, bully into its knees. This monster will spread misery around the world.

    by: william li from: canada
    August 14, 2014 10:49 AM
    what international law are you talking about? UNCLOS? do you respect UNCLOS? if you dont then sh ut up, could you? shame on you America. how funny, you yourself dont recognize the international law and then ask other countries to obey it. could you be more shameless? America?

    by: Sino-phobia from: rest of the world
    August 14, 2014 3:41 AM
    No one expects or even believes that China plays a responsible role in Asia and the world and supports rules and norms on economic and security issues. I'm afraid that President Obama's observation on Chinese communists is too optimistic. From China's attitude up to date, every one can easily determine that Chinese are just greedy and outlaw guys and have never learned ethics and manners.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    August 13, 2014 11:41 PM
    THE WISE MAN said it;.. Not one single great lawyer or law professor in the whole world, has ever challenged the legality of the Chinese (ADIZ) or "nine dash line" as violating the "Law of the SEA" or any other law, (and why Kerry and the US should think that China must discus their sovereign land with them), is the old US misguided colonial outdated arrogance, of days long past, when the US forced "Gunboat Treaties" and "Unequal Treaties" on China and other defenseless countries..... (but if Kerry wants to discus the weather?)

    "No compromise _ no concessions"... China will never ever give up "one inch" of the motherland again, wherever that sovereign inch of land, sea or air is.... (NOW)... what part of that paragraph, didn't Kerry understand?

    by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
    August 13, 2014 10:50 PM
    This is another way of America telling China, we are busy with the Middle East and Ukraine, please leave us alone and you don't make trouble for us. We will not kick up a lot of fuss over South China Sea. Do you hear me?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora