News / Asia

Wen to Attend East Asian Summit in Bali

China's Premier Wen Jiabao (File)
China's Premier Wen Jiabao (File)

China is preparing to face down regional criticism, including its South China Sea territorial claim, later this week at a series of Asian summits.  During a news briefing Tuesday Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin attempted to cool anxiety about rising regional tensions.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will travel to Bali, Indonesia, Thursday for a round of annual summits where he is expected to hear demands from some of China's neighbors to discuss competing claims to the South China Sea.

But Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said Tuesday China does not want to discuss the issue.

He says he wants to make it clear to the other countries in the region that the South China Sea issue has nothing to do with the East Asia Summit, which follows a gathering of Southeast Asian leaders at the annual ASEAN meeting.

Liu says the summit is a forum for discussing economic and trade development issues.  He says China prefers to discuss territorial claims individually with the countries involved rather than collectively discuss them.

He also warned against efforts to involve outside countries, such as the United States, in the territorial dispute.

Liu says any such intervention would, in his words, only complicate the issue and sabotage regional peace, stability and development.

New reports from the Philippines indicate that Benigno Aquino is planning to publicly press for talks on the South China Sea dispute at the two-day East Asian Summit in Bali.

Other ASEAN member countries, including Brunei and Malaysia, as well as Beijing's rival Taiwan, also claim to own all or part of the Spratlys Islands close to important shipping lanes in the South China Sea.

Those shipping lanes are also a priority for Washington, which claims it has a stake in the security and what it describes as unhampered international commerce in the South China Sea.

Li Mingjiang is an assistant professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and an specialist on East Asian regional relations and Sino-American ties.

He says Beijing will be unhappy that some of its regional neighbors are seen to be moving closer to the United States for security cooperation and security ties.

"The South China Sea issue will be brought up and will be discussed, but again a lot of these things will be diplomatic and symbolic. There will be some sort of diplomatic tug of war but it's not going to resolve onto any open confrontation.  I think Beijing understands that this is something that China has to handle carefully.  It cannot openly criticize these regional states because any criticism will only backfire," he stated.

Li also points out that those countries upset with China also have to be diplomatic, given the growing trade dependency with Beijing.

"Obviously, regional states will have to consider Chinese reactions, if they move too fast or too close to the U.S.  The number-one concern will be economic interests, because a lot of the regional states now depend on China for economic development. If you look at the trade flows, it is clearly the case," Li said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Liu was keen to point to out how increasing trade between ASEAN countries and China was helping to offset the dip in demand from the financially troubled U.S. and European markets.

China’s role in the United States’ economic troubles was raised earlier this week when President Barak Obama said China has not done enough to allow its currency to reach a fair-market value.

Chinese state media criticized the remarks, saying the U.S. president was blaming China for his country’s economic problems.  When the foreign minister was asked about what he thought the U.S. president meant by his words, the foreign minister said only the White House could explain the remarks.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs