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Politics & Law

China agrees to South China Sea talks amid new row with Manila

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi listens to a delegate during the 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three Foreign Ministers Meeting at the 46th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan. REUTERS/Ahim Rani

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi listens to a delegate during the 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three Foreign Ministers Meeting at the 46th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan. REUTERS/Ahim Rani

China agreed to hold formal talks with Southeast Asian nations on a plan to ease maritime tensions on Sunday as the Philippines accused it of causing “increasing militarisation” of the South China Sea, one of Asia’s naval flashpoints.

The rebuke by Philippine Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario at a regional summit in Brunei came a day after China’s state media warned of an inevitable “counterstrike” against the Philippines if it continued to provoke Beijing.

Friction between China and the Philippines over disputed territories has surged since last year due to several naval stand-offs as China asserts its vast claims over the oil and gas rich sea.

The heated rhetoric came as both China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) claimed progress in efforts to agree a mechanism aimed at defusing naval tensions.

China agreed to hold “official consultations” on a proposed Code of Conduct (CoC) governing naval actions at a meeting with ASEAN in China in September, a step that Thailand’s foreign minister hailed as “very significant”.

The two sides had already agreed to hold the foreign ministers’ meeting, which will follow a special ASEAN ministers’ gathering on the South China Sea issue in Thailand in August.

“We agreed to maritime cooperation to make our surrounding sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in Brunei.

But Wang stressed that any progress on agreeing the new framework would be dependent on countries following a confidence-building “declaration of conduct” agreed in 2002 which it accuses the Philippines of violating.

“Both China and other coastal states in the South China Sea are making efforts for a stable South China Sea. I believe any activity taken by individual claimant countries to go against the trend will not enjoy the support of the majority of countries and will not succeed either.”


In the latest stand-off, the Philippines accused China of encroaching on its territory after three Chinese ships converged just 5 nautical miles from a small reef where the Philippines maintains a small military force.

This month the Philippines moved more troops and supplies to the reef, which is within its 200-nautical mile economic exclusion zone. China, which does not recognise the zone, condemned it as an “illegal occupation”.

Del Rosario said the “massive” presence of Chinese military and paramilitary ships at the Second Thomas shoal and at another reef called the Scarborough Shoal – the site of a tense standoff last year – was a threat to regional peace.

“The statement on counterstrike is an irresponsible one. We condemn any threats of use of force,” Del Rosario told reporters following a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers.

He said the ministers had discussed China’s ongoing “illegal” occupation of the Scarborough Shoal, which is just 124 nautical miles of the Philippine coast.

The worsening dispute comes as Philippine-ally the United States, which says it has a national interest in freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, shifts its military attention back to Asia. Secretary of State John Kerry is due to arrive in Brunei on Monday to join the regional summit.

Critics say China is intent on cementing its claims over the sea through its superior and growing naval might, and has little interest in rushing to agree a code of conduct with ASEAN nations, four of which have competing claims.

Divisions among ASEAN over the maritime dispute burst into the open a year ago when a summit chaired by Chinese ally Cambodia failed to issue a closing communiqué for the first time in the group’s 45-year history.

Source: Reuters “China agrees South China Sea talks amid new row with Manila”

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee


6 thoughts on “China agrees to South China Sea talks amid new row with Manila

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.


    Posted by OyiaBrown | July 1, 2013, 4:08 pm


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