Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



SUPERPOWERS
Vietnam challenges China at security talks
By Ayee Macaraig, Martin Abbugao
Manila (AFP) Aug 5, 2017


Southeast Asian nations feud over China sea claims
Manila (AFP) Aug 6, 2017 - Southeast Asian nations were battling Sunday to find a compromise on how to deal with Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea, with Cambodia lobbying hard for Beijing, diplomats said.

Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) failed to release a joint statement as scheduled on Saturday evening, and tense follow-up negotiations the next morning could still not end the stand-off, two diplomats involved in the talks told AFP.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, including waters approaching the coasts of ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

The tense talks came after Vietnam, which also claims parts of the strategically vital sea, insisted that tough language be inserted into the statement expressing concern over Chinese land reclamation in the contested waters.

Cambodia, one of China's strongest allies within ASEAN, had firmly resisted, according to the diplomats involved in the talks in the Philippine capital, as well as an excerpt of proposed Cambodian resolution obtained by AFP on Sunday.

"Vietnam is adamant and China is effectively using Cambodia to champion its interests," one of the diplomats said.

"But the Philippines is trying very hard to broker compromise language."

China has in recent years expanded its presence in the sea by building artificial islands, which are capable of holding military bases.

Tensions over the sea have long vexed ASEAN, which operates on a consensus basis but has had to balance the interests of rival claimants and those more aligned to China.

While senior officials pressed on with negotiations on the sea dispute Sunday, ASEAN foreign ministers went into a round of separate meetings with their counterparts from China, the United States and other Asia-Pacific nations.

ASEAN and China were due to approve a framework for a code of conduct in Manila on Sunday on how to deal with sea dispute.

Analysts have cautioned not to place too much significance on the agreement on a framework.

They say it comes 15 years after negotiations on the issue first began, and China has used that time to cement its claims with the artificial islands, while an actual code likely remained many years away.

Diplomats said they were still hoping the joint ASEAN statement meant to be released on Saturday would be agreed on before all the other meetings hosted by the bloc ended on Tuesday.

Vietnam urged other Southeast Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea on Saturday, as a tense regional security forum began with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear programme.

Ahead of the launch of the annual gathering of foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam made a bold play against China with a raft of suggested changes to a planned joint communique.

It set the stage for a fiery few days of diplomacy in the Philippine capital, with the top diplomats from China, the United States, Russia and North Korea to join their ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific counterparts for security talks from Sunday.

The meetings will take place as the United Nations Security Council votes this weekend on a US-drafted resolution to toughen sanctions against North Korea to punish the isolated regime for its missile tests.

The United States said it would also seek to build unified pressure on the North at the Manila event -- known as the ASEAN Regional Forum.

After their own day of meetings on Saturday, ASEAN foreign ministers released a joint statement expressing "grave concerns" over the North's first two intercontinental ballistic missile tests that were conducted last month.

"These developments seriously threaten peace, security and stability in the region and the world," the statement said.

But on the South China Sea dispute -- one of Asia's other top powder keg issues -- there was far less consensus with the Philippines seeking to placate Beijing, and Vietnam leading the resistance, diplomats told AFP.

Vietnam on Friday night sought to insert tough language against China in an ASEAN statement that was scheduled to be released after the Southeast Asian ministers wrapped up their own talks on Saturday.

According to a copy of a draft obtained by AFP, Vietnam lobbied for ASEAN to express serious concern over "construction" in the sea, a reference to China's ramped up building of artificial islands in the disputed waters in recent years.

Vietnam also wanted ASEAN to insist in the statement that a planned code of conduct for the sea with China be "legally binding", which Beijing opposes.

Malaysia also pushed for some tougher language, including with a reference to "military assets" in the contested waters, according to the draft and discussions with diplomats involved in the discussions.

- Tense talks -

China claims nearly all of the strategically vital sea, including waters approaching the coasts of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

China has in recent years expanded its presence in the sea by building the artificial islands, which are capable of holding military bases.

The Philippines used to be the most vocal critic of Beijing's expansionism.

But, since President Rodrigo Duterte was elected last year, the Philippines has sought to downplay the dispute with China in return for billions of dollars in Chinese investments and aid.

China has in recent years also successfully lobbied other ASEAN nations, particularly Cambodia, to support its diplomatic manoeuvring in the dispute.

The joint statement that was scheduled to be released after the ASEAN ministers was delayed because of the dispute over the wording on the sea issue, one diplomat told AFP.

"There is no consensus yet," the diplomat said, adding the drafting committee was tasked with continuing the negotiations on Saturday night.

ASEAN is on Sunday set to adopt a framework with China for a code of conduct, which is meant to pave the way for more concrete action.

But security analysts point out that the framework comes 15 years after negotiations on the issue first began, and China has used that time to cement its claims with the artificial islands.

Another pressing issue in Manila will be the growing terrorism threat in the region.

The event is taking place as Philippine security forces battle Islamic State-aligned gunmen who have since May been occupying parts of Marawi, the nation's main Muslim city about 800 kilometres (500 miles) to the south of Manila.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also set to meet Duterte on the sidelines of the event, with those talks expected to cover the Philippine president's controversial drug war that has claimed thousands of lives.

SUPERPOWERS
For Pakistanis, China 'friendship' road runs one way
Tashkurgan, China (AFP) Aug 2, 2017
The China-Pakistan Friendship Highway runs over 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) from the far western Chinese city of Kashgar through the world's highest mountain pass and across the border. For China, the two-lane thoroughfare symbolises a blossoming partnership, nourished with tens of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment. But for many Pakistani businessmen living and working on ... read more

Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

SUPERPOWERS
NASA Offers Space Station as Catalyst for Discovery in Washington

Let's cut them off from access to Space

Astronauts gear up for space with tough Russian training

Astronauts grow cucumbers in space to help scientists understand root growth

SUPERPOWERS
ISRO Develops Ship-Based Antenna System to Track Satellite Launches

India looks to more launches with new facility from 2018

Sea Launch to be modernized for Russia's Soyuz-5 carrier rocket

Navy completes testing fixes on electro-magnetic launch systems

SUPERPOWERS
For Moratorium on Sending Commands to Mars, Blame the Sun

Tributes to wetter times on Mars

Opportunity will spend three weeks at current location due to Solar Conjunction

Curiosity Mars Rover Begins Study of Ridge Destination

SUPERPOWERS
China develops sea launches to boost space commerce

Chinese satellite Zhongxing-9A enters preset orbit

Chinese Space Program: From Setback, to Manned Flights, to the Moon

Chinese Rocket Fizzles Out, Puts Other Launches on Hold

SUPERPOWERS
UK space companies to develop international partnerships

ASTROSCALE Raises a Total of $25 Million in Series C Led by Private Companies

LISA Pathfinder: bake, rattle and roll

Airbus DS to expand cooperation with Russia

SUPERPOWERS
Spacepath Communications and Datum Systems announce strategic partnership

JV with Russia to build up to 50 satellite solid-state power amplifiers

NASA enhances online scientific tool used by hundreds Worldwide

NASA-Developed Technologies Showcased on Dellingr's Debut Flight

SUPERPOWERS
A New Search for Extrasolar Planets from the Arecibo Observatory

Gulf of Mexico tube worm is one of the longest-living animals in the world

Molecular Outflow Launched Beyond Disk Around Young Star

Breakthrough Starshot launches tiny spacecraft in quest for Alpha Centauri

SUPERPOWERS
New Horizons Video Soars over Pluto's Majestic Mountains and Icy Plains

Juno spots Jupiter's Great Red Spot

New evidence in support of the Planet Nine hypothesis

NASA's New Horizons Team Strikes Gold in Argentina




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement