Southeast Asia

    Delays, Disputes Beset ASEAN Resolution of South China Sea

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, left, talks with ASEAN's Deputy Secretary-General Nyan Lynn, right, before the ASEAN-Russia Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 11, 2012.
    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, left, talks with ASEAN's Deputy Secretary-General Nyan Lynn, right, before the ASEAN-Russia Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 11, 2012.
    Irwin LoyVOA

    PHNOM PENH — Senior ministers from Southeast Asia continue to push forward on delicate negotiations on the South China Sea during this week's high-level regional meetings in Cambodia. But delegates to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministers' meetings on Wednesday appeared to reach a stumbling block.

    Delegates have publicly downplayed tensions about the South China Sea dispute. But officials acknowledged Wednesday there was disagreement from some members over the wording of a joint ASEAN statement on the issue.

    Marty Natalegawa is Indonesia's foreign minister.

    "At the same time there is a parallel process - parallel and yet interlinked - on how to capture ASEAN’s views on the recent developments in the South China Sea. The recent worrying developments in the South China Sea," he said.

    ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia all claim parts of the South China Sea. This puts them at odds with China, which also claims a large swath of the body of water.

    Standoffs in the area in recent months, including an April incident between a Philippines warship and Chinese vessels, have added a sense of urgency to this week's negotiations.

    Any joint statement must reflect this, but also move the countries forward, said
    Natalegawa

    "We simply, we need to capture how we feel in terms of what the situation has been in the past, but more importantly to more forward. It’s very important for us to express our concern with what had happened, whether it be at the shoals, whether it be at the continental shelves ..., but more importantly than simply responding to the past is to move forward to ensure that these kinds of events no longer recur," he said.

    The debate coming into this week's meetings was how ASEAN members would go about presenting a united approach to negotiations on a long awaited Code of Conduct with China.  ASEAN ministers announced this week they had moved forward with "key elements" of a code of conduct, yet even this appears unlikely to satisfy all parties.

    The Philippines for example, has long insisted on including a dispute mechanism within the code. China, on the other hand, has made it clear that it wants to settle territorial disagreements on a one-on-one basis.

    Hammering out a code of conduct may reaffirm each party's ultimate goal of cooling down tensions and avoiding armed conflict. But whether it represents a long-term solution to the disagreements is questionable.

    Still, ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan said bloc members realize how important it is to resolve the maritime dispute while it's in the public eye.

    "Issues of South China Sea is certainly one issue that I think they want to explore further," he said. "The issues and the ways in which to handle because the world is paying attention to us, because the world is expecting some soothing message, message of confidence, message of hope out of here that we are indeed working together in order to manage the situation. So I think in good faith, in good will, we want to be better prepared."

    The ASEAN meetings reach a peak with Thursday's ASEAN Regional Forum, which will include senior delegates from the bloc's many dialogue partners, including the United States.

    You May Like

    Khmer Rouge Survivors Head to US for Shooting Remembrance

    The 46th Annual May 4 Commemoration, is held to remember four students who were fatally shot by Ohio National Guard troops just days after Nixon announced armed intervention in Cambodia. More

    Cambodian Circus Performers Want More Support

    More than 800 international artists have come from dozens of different countries to join the Tiny Tinou festival this year. More

    Producer Hopes Cambodia Will Lift Film Ban

    The British producer said the importance of the film was not only to show the heroism of Wutty, but also the rising importance of forest people and activists who attempt to continue Wutty’s work protecting Prey Lang – one of the largest remaining evergreen forests in Southeast Asia. More

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

    40th Anniversary of Khmer Rouge Takeover

    Click on the photo to go to special page.

    Click on the photo to go to special page.

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Cambodia Laying Tracks for Transport Futurei
    X
    29 April 2016
    After more than a decade, Cambodia's railway service has resumed passenger services from the capital, Phnom Penh, to the beach resort town of Sihanoukville. VOA Khmer's Sou Pichchinda narrates.

    English with Mani & Mori

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Save Face (Movie: Just Go With It)i
    X
    03 November 2014
    You can say, "I can't believe he's not accepting responsibility for his mistakes. To 'save face' he continues to make excuses for himself." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish or www.khmer.voanews.com/maniandmori. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
    Video

    Video Save Face (Movie: Just Go With It)

    You can say, "I can't believe he's not accepting responsibility for his mistakes. To 'save face' he continues to make excuses for himself." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
    Video

    Video You've Got To Be Kidding (Movie: Bedtime Stories)

    You can say, "What? You lost your passport? So, you're stranded in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and you don't know anyone? You've got to be kidding me, right?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
    Video

    Video All Thumbs (Movie: Minority Report)

    You can say, "I was 'all thumbs' this morning when trying to tie this tie - I kept making mistakes and just couldn't figure a way to pull it together." What does it mean? Watch here.
    Video

    Video Carry Out (Movie: Jane Eyre)

    You can say, "He has many strong qualities as a leader and under his leadership I think he will successfully 'carry out' the new mission and vision for this company." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
    Video

    Video A Wake Up Call (Movie: Limitless)

    You can say, "The visit to the doctor was definitely 'a wake up call' for him. The heavy drinking, smoking, and partying every night needs to stop." What does it mean? For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
    See more >>>