News / Asia

South China Sea Nations Vary in Approaches to Press Claims

South China Sea Nations Use Different Approaches to Press Claimsi
X
April 05, 2013 12:41 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry makes his first trip to Asia next week, where talks in Beijing are expected to focus on an increasingly-aggressive North Korea and on territorial disputes in the South China Sea. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on how some of China's maritime rivals are pursuing their claims.
South China Sea Nations Use Different Approaches to Press Claims
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry makes his first trip to Asia next week, where talks in Beijing are expected to focus on an increasingly-aggressive North Korea and on territorial disputes in the South China Sea. China's maritime rivals are pursuing their claims in a variety of ways.

Beijing says its live-fire exercises in the South China Sea are meant to defend against naval and air attacks in the contested waters.

But Vietnam says those Chinese patrols endanger navigation. It says China's navy fired on a Vietnamese fishing trawler near the disputed Paracel Islands.

China says it has done nothing wrong. "The response by the relevant Chinese body against the illegal Vietnamese fishing boat was appropriate and reasonable," said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei.

In the South China Sea, Beijing has worked to separate rival claimants, says International Institute for Strategic Studies fellow Christian LeMiere.

"Obviously Vietnam on its own in a bilateral discussion with China is in a very much weaker position.  But if it can gather the support of the U.S. or Japan or India, or at least demonstrate that these states have a stake in the negotiations, then Vietnam will find itself in a much stronger position," LeMiere said.

In its dispute with China, the Philippines is taking South China Sea rivalries to the United Nations while reaffirming old alliances.

"The Philippines is one our our five Asia-Pacific allies, and a very, very important relationship at this point in time when there are tensions over the South China Sea, where we support a code of conduct and we are deeply concerned about some of those tensions and would like to see it worked out through a process of arbitration," said Kerry.

So might Vietnam join the Philippine move to U.N. arbitration? Johns Hopkins University professor Ruth Wedgwood thinks it should.

"To my mind, it would make sense for Vietnam to join them and make it a parallel declaration that the Chinese Coast Guard, whether at the insistence of the Governor of Hainan or whether at the direction of Beijing, really ought not to be pressing each neighbor in the region to withdraw to a three-mile limit as in the olden days. The Chinese are pressing very hard," Wedgwood said.

It is that pressure that makes American University professor Pek Koon Heng believe Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei will not join the Filipino claim.  She says the legacy of Chinese invasion makes Vietnam especially cautious.

"Something Vietnam does, there is a hugh push back by the Chinese. The Vietnamese understand that there is only so much they can do because over the last ten years, naval modernization by the Chinese has proceeded so quickly," Heng said.

China claims most of the more than three-million-square-kilometer sea from Singapore to the Taiwan Strait -- through which half the world's commercial shipping passes.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wu
April 05, 2013 3:03 AM
Hong Lee said bejing done nothing wrong. Please, bejing used forced to kill people and invade islands. How on earth he can say that! Nazi bejing!

by: Chin from: VN
April 05, 2013 2:55 AM
China appears like big country harassing small countries in the last 1000 years and bejing countinues doing so. That why lot of people hate china.

by: Zong from: US
April 04, 2013 10:41 PM
Seem like the claimants of South China Sea are scaring China, they can not do any thing without US support them. If they claim those some islands are belong to them why they can not protect the properties. Let China takes over all.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisisi
X
March 06, 2015 12:28 AM
There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Winter Weather Strikes Eastern US...Again!

A new wintry blast has hit more than 20 states in the U.S. Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, adding more snow to the piles from previous storms. Tired of shoveling snow, breaking the ice and dealing with accidents, flight delays and property damage, most Americans hope this is the last bout of cold for the season. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Myanmar's Traditional Fashion Choices Endure

The sartorial choices of Myanmar’s men and women quickly catch the eye of any visitor to the tropical Southeast Asian country. But at a time when Myanmar’s political and economic opening is bringing affordable western fashions to the masses, will the country’s unique fashion trends endure? VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Yangon explores that question.

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