News / Asia

US Portrays ASEAN Meeting as Setback for China

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference concluding his visit to Naypyitaw to participate in the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Naypyitaw, Myanmar,  Aug. 10, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference concluding his visit to Naypyitaw to participate in the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Aug. 10, 2014.

The United States is portraying the outcome of a meeting in Myanmar among Southeast Asian nations as a setback for Beijing's attempts to minimize territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

There is no specific mention of China in the final statement by the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), although the group, in its meetings over the last several days in Myanmar's capital, did consider a freeze on “provocative acts” in the South China Sea.

That pact was proposed by Washington and Manila. Despite China's rebuff of the proposal, U.S. officials are characterizing the outcome of the overall meeting as a positive one.

Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Naypyidaw that during all of the relevant talks, he underscored the need for a binding code of conduct in the South China Sea, involving overlapping maritime claims among a number of sovereign states in the region.

“And I'm very pleased that there is positive language that came out in the communiqué issued by ASEAN foreign ministers yesterday as a result of that discussion that embraces this idea of resolving these issues in a thoughtful and peaceful way,” said Kerry.

Kerry declared that the communiqué’s language “goes far enough” despite China's rebuff of the freeze proposal.

The final language in the communiqué states: "We urged all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint and avoid actions which would complicate the situation and undermine peace, stability, and security in the South China Sea."

Although talks have been held on a code of conduct for the sea, there has been little significant progress.

A senior U.S. official has been quoted saying that based on private conversations among diplomats, ASEAN concern over the territorial disputes is at “an all-time high."

The ASEAN Regional Forum security talks involved 27 countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, Russia and the United States.

China has criticized involvement by the United States in the South China Sea issue, contending Washington is encouraging such countries as the Philippines and Vietnam to be more assertive as part of America's military pivot back to Asia.

China's foreign minister, Wang Yi, who met with Kerry for a half an hour on Saturday, told reporters at the ASEAN gathering that it is premature to move towards settling the territorial dispute based on international law. He accused others of exaggerating the level of tension while also characterizing his country as maintaining restraint in the disputed waters, saying China is being provoked by other countries.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: william li from: canada
August 11, 2014 2:47 PM
so america is ready to compete China all around the world? last month in south america, yesterday in Africa, and now in south Asia?

lol cant wait to see who s gonna be the winner!

But I am sure, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Burma are waiting for more investment from China, and the building of the high speed train system connecting China.


by: Sochetvitou Tang from: Cambodia
August 11, 2014 11:21 AM
If Asian countries want to have a long lasting peace in the region, first they have cure one of the strange mental disease that many leaders in the region have "THE TERRITORY ADDICTION". If you do not cure your own disease, it is going to be hard to blame China's territory expansion.


by: John Lone from: SD
August 10, 2014 10:39 PM
China is being provoked by other countries? Like setting up oil rig on Vietnamese waters? Illegally fish for endanger turtles on Philiipines waters?


by: joshua medalle from: Philippines
August 10, 2014 10:20 PM
Asean countries involved in china's sea grabbing dispute must stop buying china products. Doing otherwise only encourages china to strengthen its military might to farther threaten weaker countries and grab more of their territories. Chinese state & private companies investments must also be banned in these countries to start isolating the bully and modern nazis from asean countries. If asean was able to survive without china before there is no reason it can not survive now without the chinese nazis.


by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
August 10, 2014 8:17 PM
The USA is facing more pressing concerns in Ukraine and the Middle East, yet Secretary Kerry still attended this conference in Burma. To that extent, ASEAN countries except China were impressed that USA took the South Sea dispute seriously. However, it would still be too early to say that this meeting marks a set-back for China.


by: meanbill from: USA
August 10, 2014 6:44 PM
THE WISE MAN said it;.... Only Kerry and the US would try to claim some type of political victory over meaningless (ASEAN) discussions on China's assertive actions in the South China Sea, that were just talks and observations, without any (ASEAN) country condemnations of China, or anything else.... (a setback for China?)..... REALLY?

China reiterated to Kerry, they will not discus internal affairs or politics with outside countries, and safeguarding China's sovereignty and maritime rights and interests is unshakable, and will defend China's unequivocally rights to it's (ADIZ) and every single sovereign inch of air, sea and land, of the motherland.... "no compromise and no concessions"...... (But will hold discussions on other things?)

In Response

by: Tuan from: VN
August 11, 2014 3:10 AM
Are you realy living in America? I think you should go back and live in China.


by: Tun Lwin from: Yangon
August 10, 2014 5:13 PM
Thein Sein is a defender of the former military gov. He is not a man who can change for Myanmar.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid