News / Asia

US Pushes for Greater Transparency in South China Sea Claims

US Pushes for Greater Transparency in South China Sea Claimsi
X
February 16, 2014 3:02 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says unannounced, unilateral actions in contested waters of the South China Sea challenge regional stability.
US Pushes for Greater Transparency in South China Sea Claims
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says unannounced, unilateral actions in contested waters of the South China Sea challenge regional stability.

After meeting with leaders in Beijing to discuss rival maritime claims between China, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia, Kerry then traveled to Indonesia on Saturday, where officials are working with the Association of South East Asian Nations, or ASEAN, to help resolve those disputes.

Stepped-up Chinese patrols in the South China Sea raise fears among rival territorial claimants that Beijing may move to create the same kind of air defense zone there as it now has around islands claimed by Japan in the East China Sea.

Kerry told Chinese President Xi Jinping that Washington is hoping for better transparency in the South China Sea to reduce possible "misinterpretations." Assistant U.S. Secretary for East Asian Affairs Danny Russel says China is engaged in an "incremental pattern of assertiveness."

"No one can justifiably, in compliance with international law, simply assert the right to exercise control over great swaths of a sea," he said.

Beijing agrees the disputes should be settled through international law but says Washington should be careful not to make things worse.

"The United States is not a direct party in the South China Sea dispute and should keep its commitment of not taking sides on issues of territorial sovereignty and be cautious in words and actions," said Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for China's foreign ministry.

Much of the concern over the South China Sea is based on commercial shipping there. Beijing University analyst Jia Qingguo contends that shipping will not be affected by China's so-called nine-dash line, a U-shaped line on maps marking its claim of sovereignty over a wide area including the disputed Spratley and Paracel Islands.

"The Chinese government has repeatedly stated that there is freedom of navigation within the nine-dash line," said Jia. "In other words, the nine-dash line is not in [conflict] with the U.S. request of freedom of navigation."

American University professor Lou Goodman says pressures of trade and security make the South China Sea a potentially dangerous flashpoint for Beijing and Washington.

"A power like China, a power like the United States can't back off of anything," he said. "New solutions have to be found to disputes like this that are win-win for the sides that are talking."

The United States is pushing to settle rival claims through the regional ASEAN alliance.

"These are all countries that it would be well worth China developing stronger harmonious relations with," Goodman added. "And having conversations like this might be a good step forward in general in addition to focusing on the particular dispute that they are talking about."

But smaller ASEAN countries fear being bullied by China, and Washington's reliance on Beijing on issues such as Syria and Iran offer them little reassurance, says American Enterprise Institute analyst Michael Auslin.

"The U.S. has so little influence over China, or has chosen to act toward China in ways that minimize any influence it really could have," he said. "Obviously China looks at ASEAN as at best a negotiating partner, at worst [as] a collection of countries they can pick apart at their time of choosing."

Indonesia is an important stop for Kerry's efforts on the South China Sea as it is home to the ASEAN secretariat and a government that is playing an increasingly important role in resolving the rival maritime claims as a leading economy that has good relations with Beijing.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: GeneRook from: Vancouver, Wa
February 16, 2014 7:56 PM
LOL!

I'll bet money that the WTO's involvement or impact moving hundreds of millions of manufacturing jobs from Nations like the United States that have Environmental Protection Laws to nations like India, Burma, China, and others was not mentioned nor was the impact.

I'll also bet that there was no mention of the Global Bankers, Wall Street Traders, Investors, or corporate Greed or "profit" that contributed to recent tragic increases in unchecked or regulated pollution, poisoning, or millions of deaths.

Maybe we need to reclassify the definition of "Global Threat and/or Terrorist" is and retask our Predator Drones to remove the threats to mankind at large (the 7 billion extorted, poisoned, and abused laborers of this planet)

JP Morgan, Chase, Goldman Sach, Loyds, The Carlyle Group, Halliburton, Deustchue Bank and a few other global venture capitalists come to mind.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More