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
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

TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid