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

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid