News / USA

US, China Discuss South China Sea on Final Day of Bali Summit

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Nusa Dua, in Bali, Indonesia, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Nusa Dua, in Bali, Indonesia, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011.

U.S. President Barack Obama met in Bali Saturday with China's Premier Wen Jiabao as leaders attending the East Asia Summit brought their meetings to a close.

U.S. officials say the two discussed regional tensions over the South China Sea.

The Obama-Wen meeting, announced by the White House on short notice Saturday morning, occurred before leaders at the summit held a formal plenary session and a working lunch.

Neither commented before or after. But U.S. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said they spoke briefly about the South China Sea issue following up on a conversation from the previous day, and that there would be more discussion among leaders later.

In remarks to ASEAN leaders on Friday, Premier Wen said solutions should not involve "outside forces. . . under any pretext." The comments were widely seen as directed at the U.S.-Australia agreement to base 2,500 U.S. Marines in Australia.

Speaking to reporters Saturday, National Security Adviser Donilon reiterated that the U.S. takes no sides in the South China Sea issue, but believes disputes need to be resolved peacefully.

Donilon said, "The U.S. has an interest in the freedom of navigation, the free flow of commerce, the peaceful resolution of disputes. We don't have a claim, we don't take sides in the claims, but we do as a global maritime power have an interest in seeing these principles applied broadly."

Donilon said he would not comment on the specifics of any nation's claim, but did note that the South China Sea issue was raised by ASEAN countries in discussions Friday.

More broadly, he was asked whether what one reporter called the "sharp tone" Mr. Obama has sounded during his Asia-Pacific trip could lead elements in China's military to believe the U.S. is attempting to isolate or contain China.

Donilon said President Obama has made a point of repeatedly welcoming China's peaceful rise and economic success, and anything he has said during his trip has "nothing to do with isolating or containing anybody."

Donilon said, "The U.S. goal in the region is to have a stable, peaceful, and economically prosperous region and that is in the interests of everyone in the region, including the Chinese."

Donilon said the United States has been "very direct" with China about its plans in the Asia-Pacific region, adding Washington has worked to deepen the "military to military conversation" to achieve more transparency regarding military plans and intentions.

China's regional economic role and its strategic intentions in the South China Sea have been a major focus at this summit as well as during Mr. Obama's nine-day Asia-Pacific trip that emphasized the importance of regional trade.

Mr. Obama said this in his speech to Australian troops and U.S. Marines in Darwin this past week after the announcement of a new military access agreement.

The president said, "There is another reason we are deepening our alliance here. This region has some of the busiest sea lanes in the world, which are critical to all our economies."

National Security Adviser Donilon called the overall U.S. relationship with China complicated. But he said Beijing recognizes that the U.S. is a principle Pacific power intent on meeting its obligations and commitments to partners and allies.

At the same time, he said the U.S. is engaged in an "important conversation" with China about economic issues not limited to currency policies, including what he called areas that "impair the fair access" by the United States and other countries to China's economy.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid