News / Asia

    US Looks to Singapore, Indonesia to Help Calm Tensions in S. China Sea

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures as she speaks with Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa during a joint news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta, September 3, 2012. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures as she speaks with Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa during a joint news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta, September 3, 2012.
    x
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures as she speaks with Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa during a joint news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta, September 3, 2012.
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures as she speaks with Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa during a joint news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta, September 3, 2012.
    JAKARTA, Indonesia — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Asia where she is discussing efforts by U.S. allies Indonesia and Singapore to help calm tensions over rival territorial claims in the South China Sea.  

    Following talks with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Secretary of State Clinton said the United States, like all countries, has a national interest in maintaining peace and stability, freedom of navigation, and unimpeded lawful commerce in the South China Sea.

    "We believe the nations of the region should work collaboratively together to resolve disputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threats, and certainly without the use of force," said Clinton.

    China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei, and the Philippines have competing territorial claims to parts of the South China Sea.  The United States is working to encourage agreement on a code of conduct to establish clear procedures for resolving those disputes.

    Indonesia has played a key role in making progress toward that goal, especially when regional foreign ministers failed to reach agreement in July.  So too has Singapore, which is more actively mediating South China Sea disputes as part of growing ties with the United States.

    Joshua Kurlantzick is a Southeast Asia analyst for the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

    "Singapore, I think, is walking farther away from the role it has historically played, which is really close to the U.S., but it sort of publicly did not talk about it and still tried to be a balancer," said Kurlantzick. "I think we are moving with them closer to a more traditional alliance."

    Analyst Justin Logan of the Washington-based Cato Institute agrees that Singapore is moving closer to the United States, but says this might not be a traditional alliance.

    "The United States likes to have very, very enthusiastic allies," said Logan. "And I think that the Singaporeans tend to have a more reserved, more calculated, careful approach.  So it is certainly true that relations between the United States and Singapore have gotten better.  They are getting more attention in Washington.  But I do not think that you are going to have this extraordinarily tight, sometimes ebullient-style relationship that the United States has enjoyed in the past."

    Logan says Singapore understands its position in the various South China Sea claims.

    "Everybody wants to sit down and talk with the Singaporeans," said Logan. "And they realize that everybody wants to be friendly with the Singaporeans.  Given their strategic positioning in this, they have played, I think, a very adept diplomatic game in trying to be friendly with everyone because everyone wants to be friendly with them."  

    It is a balance shared by neighboring Indonesia, where Foreign Minister Natalegawa last month hosted his Chinese counterpart and is quick to make clear that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, is not trying to pressure China.  

    "It is important to underscore ASEAN unity is not meant to be at the expense of any other party," said Natalegawa. "It is not about us rallying around to counter or to put any other country on the spot or to put them in a corner."

    Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea will be part of Secretary Clinton's talks in Beijing and Brunei as well as at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Russia.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    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 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 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.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora