News / Asia

US Urges Calm in Sea Disputes During SE Asia Summit

US Urges Calm in Sea Disputes During SE Asia Summiti
X
Barry Newhouse
August 11, 2014 6:44 PM
Senior diplomats from Southeast Asian nations, China and the United States wrapped up talks in Myanmar's capital Sunday with a statement urging all sides to avoid confrontations in the South China Sea. Overlapping ownership claims in the oil- and gas-rich sea continue to be a major regional flashpoint, but efforts by the U.S. and Philippines to temporarily halt all so-called “provocative acts” such as oil drilling, failed to attract broad support. Barry Newhouse reports from Bangkok

US Urges Calm in Sea Disputes During SE Asia Summit

Barry Newhouse

Senior diplomats from Southeast Asian nations, China and the United States wrapped up talks in Myanmar's capital Sunday with a statement urging all sides to avoid confrontations in the South China Sea.

Overlapping ownership claims in the oil- and gas-rich sea continue to be a major regional flashpoint, but efforts by the U.S. and Philippines to temporarily halt all so-called “provocative acts” such as oil drilling, failed to attract broad support.

The gathering in Myanmar's capital city Naypyidaw marks another milestone for the country's political opening, as it plays host to this year's major meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian nations.

But just like recent ASEAN gatherings, the bloc's key issue: how to address maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea remains unresolved, says Myanmar's foreign minister.

"It is not that one party is trying to influence others, the others against the one country," he said. "All ASEAN, not ASEAN versus China. This is what we call it the ASEAN...we would like to settle all these kind of disputes in a very peaceful manner."

The emphasis on diplomacy comes after months of sometimes violent territorial confrontations.

In May, China moved an oil rig to waters near the Paracel islands, which Vietnam also claims. The move sparked a violent backlash against Chinese businesses in Vietnam. Chinese land reclamation efforts near islets claimed by the Philippines also set off alarms in Manila.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he remains hopeful the matter can be resolved without hostilities.

“We all underscored the importance of negotiations on a binding code of conduct," he said. "And I stressed the importance of everybody clarifying claims under international law and proceeding under the legal process through the law, through arbitration, and also through bilateral relationships.”

Efforts to agree on a binding code of conduct have faltered for more than a decade, partly because of Chinese opposition. The lack of progress has led some countries such as the Philippines to try other legal venues to determine ownership.

ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh tells VOA that because of the growing tensions, negotiators must find a peaceful breakthrough.

“It is urgent, it is important now that ASEAN can engage China and can intensify... these consultations, these negotiations, towards the early conclusion and adoption of a code of conduct,” he said.

Chinese state-backed media Monday played up the failure of the U.S. proposal to freeze provocative acts in disputed parts of the Sea, claiming Washington uses the issue to meddle in the region.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: delmonte from: USA
August 11, 2014 11:18 PM
Nobody paid a heel to what Kerry said as they knew that he was just lying with Obama's lies.


by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
August 11, 2014 10:39 PM
In this kind of conferences, what is not said is more important than what is said. America might have told the ASEAN countries in closed doors, although America has returned its attention to the Pacific, there are more immediate crises which warrant America's urgent attention, such as Ukraine and the Middle East. You Asian boys don't make trouble because Uncle Sam may not have the time or resources to deal with you.


by: Brent_Bowles from: USA
August 11, 2014 9:11 PM
This Asean meeting ended with a resolution for the concerned parties to adhere to the principle of COD established in 2002 and for ASEAN as a whole to maintain peace in the region.
Kerry's proposal was totally ignored or not even discussed as ASEAN knew that US only cares for its own interests, not Philippines let alone that of ASEAN.


by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
August 11, 2014 6:23 PM
I do not see any real fights in the area. China knows that it has to restrain itself. The ASEAN by themselves are too weak on one's own and they do not stand together to resist China. There will be a lot of incidents and posturing in the next five years. Nobody really wants a fight.


by: meanbill from: USA
August 11, 2014 5:50 PM
THE WISE MAN said it;... It will remain calm in the South China Sea, as long as they keep the US from interfering in the politics of the (ASEAN) countries, like the US did with their interference in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and now Ukraine, (then), without the US interference, the (ASEAN) countries conflicts won't end in the violence, destruction, killings and wars that never seem to end, and their conflicts can be settled peacefully, without the US political interference...... REALLY

In Response

by: Tuan from: VN
August 12, 2014 10:26 AM
Crashing boats to each other is calm? Chinese sacrifice their own people to bring dollars home for the big brothers. Since when china is calm!
Be truthful to yourself.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid