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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora