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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs