News / USA

US Monitors S. China Sea After Beijing Knocks Down Proposal

US Monitors S. China Sea after Beijing Knocks Down Proposali
August 13, 2014 12:11 AM
The United States says it will monitor contested waters of the South China Sea to see if there is any de-escalation of tensions -- after China knocked down a U.S. proposal at the Southeast Asian forum in Myanmar to freeze provocative acts there. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Sydney to meet with Australian officials following the Myanmar meeting.

The United States says it will monitor contested waters of the South China Sea to see if there is any de-escalation of tensions - after China knocked down a U.S. proposal at the Southeast Asian forum in Myanmar to freeze provocative acts there.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Sydney to meet with Australian officials following the Myanmar meeting.

U.S. officials say they will monitor the "rocks, reefs, and shoals in the South China Sea" looking for signs of less confrontation in waters where China's coast guard has clashed with vessels from both Vietnam and the Philippines.  Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan also have competing claims, making the area -- one of the world's busiest shipping lanes - a potential flashpoint with major commercial consequences.

Kerry was hoping Southeast Asian foreign ministers meeting in Myanmar would agree to a halt to all provocative actions in the South China Sea.  But China helped set back that move, leading ASEAN to agree to a softer, non-binding agreement.

Questioned about that weaker deal, Kerry said he thinks "the language does go far enough" to achieve some progress.

"We weren't seeking to pass something per se, we were trying to put something on the table that people could embrace,' he said. "A number of countries have decided that's what they're going to do.  It's a voluntary process."

But it stops far short of more directly calling-out Beijing for violating international law, according to American Enterprise Institute analyst Michael Auslin.

"If you just continue to say, 'We don't want coercive behavior,' China will say, 'Well we're not coercive. They're coercive.' You've got to use something different," he said.

Without which, Auslin says, China will continue to redefine the concepts of administrative control over disputed territory.

"What it is attempting to do is say: 'No, there is no dispute. There's no dispute over the Senkakus. There's no dispute over the Spratleys. There's no dispute over much of the South China Sea. There's no dispute over the air of the East China Sea with the Defense Identification Zone because we, China, are effectively administering it,'" he said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered ASEAN "friendly consultation", but firmly upheld Beijing's right to defend its sovereignty and interests against what he called "irrational provocation."

With China's state-run news agency questioning Washington's "real intentions" U.S. State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf says it is not Washington that is destabilizing the South China Sea.

"It’s the aggressive actions the Chinese have taken that are doing so," she said.  "Everything we are doing is designed to lower tensions, to get people to resolve their differences diplomatically and not through coercive or destabilizing measures, like we’ve seen the Chinese take increasingly over the past several months."

The summit's host, Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunna Muang Lwin, says, "It is not that one party is trying to influence others" against one country.  It is "all ASEAN, not ASEAN versus China" that will settle these disputes peacefully.

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Comment Sorting
by: sosusa from: san francisco
August 19, 2014 10:32 PM
If USA can't pivot the states in the USA, how can USA pivot the rest of the world?

Yankees must go home and solve their monumental endemic problems and leave the rest of the world alone!

by: Observer from: Canada
August 14, 2014 1:05 PM
it 's so obviously China and Russia saw weakness of the American and take opportunities.... evidences? Crimea, Afghanistan , Syria, Iraq , South China see, Africa , etc... Very soon we will see some nations will ask China or Russia for helps not America...

by: mauro protacio from: USA
August 13, 2014 2:38 PM
China will keep pushing until it is stopped. A united southeast asia should been formed by now and together it can resist china and force it to withdraw. USA, with its interest in keeping the china sea open to shipping lanes, could be involved as well. A confrontation is most likely needed here.
In Response

by: gil from: philippines
August 14, 2014 2:58 AM
We need to get to the bottom of this right away. Otherwise, it will become the source of many unwanted incidents affecting all claimants as well as the world itself. This is a case of China asserting itself by force. And the big question is, do we have to bow down to their wishes or go against their will?

by: Florante from: U.S.A.
August 13, 2014 1:33 PM
The UN should put up a peace keeping fleet in the China sea to avoid Chinese Coast Guard to interfere with the present area of responsibility of each Asean Country claimed by China and act on the protest of every country involve, to avoid incidents that will happened in the future. This should be done NOW!

by: Alan svie from: USA
August 13, 2014 10:25 AM
China will not stop their illegal activities until one of their ship is damage or will be sunk by one of their neighbors.....look ! .?

by: Tor from: Spain
August 13, 2014 7:26 AM
If EU is not to reduce Russia's gas consumption in coming years and Russia will invade Ukraine or,at least part of it,and that in turn will lead to international geopolitical crisis with beginning of WW3....EU will the main contributor to that war,because everyone knows that Russia is out of control!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In Response

by: asand
August 13, 2014 9:20 AM
Since china refuses to accept U,S decent proposal, U.S should send a frankly, directly, clearly message to china:
SCS is not belong to china. SCS is no longer Beijing play ground. china BACK OFF from SCS.

by: ruben obedicen from: usa
August 13, 2014 5:26 AM
This is the hypocrisy of china's leadership;they embraced USA for their economic gains then confronts in another way around.
In Response

by: kcheng from: usa
August 13, 2014 11:22 AM
yes hypocrisy by China on one hand....stupid wishful thinking by the USA and west for feeding this draconian country!!! THinking this is a civilized country. we should have kept them in the dark!

by: Eva Duff from: Saudi Arabia
August 13, 2014 1:58 AM
The US should continue to patrol/monitor these waters since China kept on ignoring invitations or attendance to any diplomatic dialogues to settle her ridiculous territorial claims. Any violations to the freeze activities agreed by some ASEAN claimants on these contested territories should be subjected to harsher punishments.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 13, 2014 11:11 AM
Hey Eva... If the Chinese (ADIZ) or "nine dash line" in the South China Sea violated any "Law of the Sea" or any other law, the US would be the first country in the world, to notify the world of it and protest, (but), the US is only going to perform meaningless monitoring of China's actions, (and that means), China's (ADIZ) and "nine dash line" are perfectly legal, even though the US doesn't like it, isn't that true?.

China told Kerry;... That safeguarding it's sovereignty and maritime rights and interests is unshakable, and on the (ADIZ) and "nine dash line"... they'll be "No compromise or Concessions"... (but), they'll discus other things?

by: Wichita Lineman from: Philippines
August 13, 2014 1:06 AM
What if China continuous to build structures in the disputed spratly islands despite monitoring activity of the U.S.? Surely they will disregard the U.S. warning because they will not give up their illegal 9 dash line.

by: meanbill from: USA
August 12, 2014 9:41 PM
CRAZY isn't it?.... The US has been spying on China since 1947, (and then), the US military threats were taken seriously, (but now), the US with the greatest military in the history of the world, can't defeat anybody, and everybody jokes about the red lines, circles, and monitoring, Obama threatens, (and), it's the only threats the US can make now, and the red lines, circles and monitoring, lack any credibility anymore..... (just more phony posturing, and propaganda?)... how far has the US fallen?

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