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 On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Nigerians Await New President With High Hopes

When pomp and circumstance of inauguration end in Abuja, Buhari will sit down to the hard task of governing Nigeria More

India's Restrictions on Several NGOs Raise Concerns

Political analysts link recent clampdown on advocacy groups to report last year that said foreign-funded NGO’s negatively impact economic development 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs