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

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Nielsen's, Sina Weibo Team Up for Closer Look at Chinese Social Media

    US-based rating agency reaches deal with China's Twitter-like service to gauge marketing effectiveness on platform which has more than 200 million users

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    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.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora