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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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