News / Asia

South China Sea Disputes Likely to Dominate US-China Talks

South China Sea Disputes Likely to Dominate Lead US-China Talksi
X
Scott Stearns
July 07, 2014 3:46 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel travel to Beijing this week for meetings with their Chinese counterparts on trade and security issues. As VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, those talks are expected to include discussions on new Chinese oil rigs in disputed waters off Vietnam that are driving up tensions in the South China Sea.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel travel to Beijing this week for meetings with their Chinese counterparts on trade and security issues. Those talks are expected to include discussions on new Chinese oil rigs in disputed waters off Vietnam that are driving up tensions in the South China Sea.

Vietnam says the oil rigs are within its territorial waters and released a video of what it says is a Chinese vessel ramming a Vietnamese fishery control boat near the site.

Vietnam is working with the Philippines on legal challenges to Chinese claims in the South China Sea -- where Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan also have competing claims. Vietnam is especially vulnerable, according to American University professor Hillary Mann Leverett.

"Both Japan and the Philippines have a defense treaty with the United States where the United States is obligated to come to their defense even over a craggy island. We don't have that with Vietnam. So China can push Vietnam even further than it pushes Japan or the Philippines," she said.

Naval engagements

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said those pushing for international arbitration in the South China Sea are violating legal norms.

"Some countries are waving the signboard of 'law' to encroach upon the legitimate rights and interests of other countries, putting on a 'legitimate' cloak to cover up their law-violating behaviors," said Qin.

While the United States is helping upgrade the Filipino navy, Washington is not taking a position on any of the rival claims in the South China Sea.

American Enterprise Institute analyst Michael Auslin said, "But that doesn't mean that our policy should be frozen or paralyzed when we see China acting coercively or acting aggressively. There's lot of things we can do. But the Obama administration, at least in this term, has decided that it is going to use the fig leaf of legal ambiguity in order not to get involved."

Auslin said this undercuts the value of this week's Strategic and Economic Dialogue, or S&ED.

"Seriously, we have to ask what is the point of the S&ED anymore? It has achieved nothing substantive," he said.

The Foreign and Defense Ministers' talks in Beijing follow China's navy joining, for the first time, U.S.-led naval exercises off Hawaii. U.S. officials say that could help address multilateral challenges. Chinese officials say it shows what it calls "the positive attitudes of the Chinese armed forces in maintaining regional security and stability.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Comment Sorting
Comment on this forum (5)
Comments
     
by: NG from: Canada
July 09, 2014 12:48 AM
Michael Auslin is an idiot, and he shoudl learn histrory and related legal/law issues to South China Sea before his prejudices.

For South China Sea, the 11-dash line (boundary between China and Vietnam/Phillipines etc) of South China Sea was set by KMT (taiwan) government, who was an ally of the US in WWII, now the 11-dash line reduced to 9-dash line. During WWII and after WWII until 1950-1970s, Philippines and Vietnam have never questioned 9-dash line, actually Vietnam even acknowledged by written form for boundary between China and Vietnam (i.e. 9 dash line) in 1950-1970s. In the past 20-30 years, Vietnam changed their mind and used 1980s so called sea treaty to try to get more South China Sea back. Vietnam even claimed almost all of South China Sea as its territory. The sea treaty is ratified in 1980s and is not applicable for boundary set in 1950-1970s between China and Vietnam. We cannot use current law to judge cases which happened before the law was in effect.
Please also remember that it is Vietnam who occupied most South China Sea islands and extracted (is extracting) huge amounts of gas and oil from South China Sea , NOT China, China didn’t get one drop of oil from South China sea so far. So it is Vietnam who bully China, a small dog is biting a big elephant.

BTW, American didn't ratify the 1980s sea treaty, China did sign that 1980s sea treaty, but conditional, in other words, the sea treaty is not applicable to sea boundary set before the 1980s seat treaty. So China doesn't violate any international sea law, and follow the 9-dash line in South China Sea, which set by KMT in 1940s (taiwan, a US ally) and recognized by Vietnam in 1950-1970s (written form).

In Response

by: Duc from: California
July 12, 2014 3:36 PM
You should read the Vietnamese text (the original) instead of just reading from Chinese source. The written from which you said "actually Vietnam even acknowledged by written form for boundary between China and Vietnam (i.e. 9 dash line) in 1950-1970s" never mentioned anything about the disputed islands or 9-dash-line. Your second reason is "Vietnam extracted huge amount of gas and oil in SCS" but they are within 200 miles of Vietnam's economic zone. Lastly, the 11-dash-line first appeared in 1948. Before that, I ask you a question " Did China protest when France sent troops to the islands in the early 1900s? " , so you said "Vietnam have never questioned" is not correct.


by: oldlamb from: Guangzhou
July 08, 2014 4:52 AM
The US lacks of the qualification to talk with China,and to arbitrate the dispute of territory in South China Sea,bcoz whereever The US has interfered where woe of the chaos and agony has betided on.For example Iraq,Libya,Afghanistan,Ukrain…etc.


by: Wang from: USA
July 07, 2014 11:32 PM
China is a country with second economy, rich and strong but why they act like a bunch of thugs. I don't think they have any moral standards. Shame on the leaders of a country like China.


by: Tuan nguyen from: usa
July 07, 2014 9:14 PM
take Viet Nam, delete one opponent. because Viet nam is easy to get since there are no treaty with USA. Then control all islands, build airport and will not need carrier, save lot of $$$. next one is Philippine. Don't need to fight Japanese, they already won the whole ASEAN. That is why Chinese low their talk to do more work with South Korea (why not North lol).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid