Saturday, 29 November 2014

Southeast Asia

South China Sea Dispute Flares at ASEAN Summit

They had largely avoided bickering publicly through the media, until a statement late Sunday from ASEAN chair, Cambodia.

From left: South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak, China's Premier Wen Jiabao, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda prepare to join hands together for a group photo during the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Commemorative Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)From left: South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak, China's Premier Wen Jiabao, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda prepare to join hands together for a group photo during the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Commemorative Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
x
From left: South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak, China's Premier Wen Jiabao, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda prepare to join hands together for a group photo during the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Commemorative Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
From left: South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak, China's Premier Wen Jiabao, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda prepare to join hands together for a group photo during the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Commemorative Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Irwin LoyVOA News
PHNOM PENH - Regional leaders at a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have again raised disagreements over the South China Sea.

ASEAN leaders have sought to maintain a unified public presence preparing for this summit, following divisive ministerial meetings in July.

They had largely avoided bickering publicly through the media, until a statement late Sunday from ASEAN chair, Cambodia. 

Cambodian foreign ministry official Kao Kim Hourn spoke with reporters.

“The ASEAN leaders decided that they will not internationalize the South China Sea from now on.  That they will focus this entirely within the current existing ASEAN-China mechanisms, which is at the level of the senior officials’, ministerial, and the leaders where they will continue to engage discussions on the South China Sea,” he said.

By Monday, the Philippines had objected.  Its delegation released a short statement saying it wished to maintain its “inherent right to defend its national interest when deemed necessary.”  The Philippines was quick to add that it too is concerned about maintaining ASEAN unity.

But the incident was a reminder of July, when Cambodia was accused of backing China in the long-running maritime dispute by refusing Philippine demands to mention a set of disputed islands in a final official statement.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia, claim parts of the South China Sea, but it is the vast claims from regional power China, that has caused disagreements within ASEAN.

China is interested in negotiating a solution to the disputes with individual countries rather than the bloc.  Any ASEAN consensus to not internationalize the issue, then, could be seen as playing into China's hands.

But there still remains a wide gap between ASEAN and China when it comes to beginning negotiations.  ASEAN decided this week to push forward on a long-awaited Code of Conduct for involved parties.  But China appears reluctant.

Qin Gang is a Chinese government spokesman.

"It takes some time for, you know, for China and ASEAN to talk about, discuss [Code of Conduct] and this is not a wasting of time because during the discussion we can build up and accumulate more consensus and mutual trust to find more better ways to keep this region peaceful and stable,” he said.

Either way, it appears likely the issue will be raised on an international stage as soon as Tuesday, during the East Asia Summit, a forum that includes countries beyond ASEAN's boundaries.
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
World's Best Rice Title Should Help Boost Cambodian Rice Exportsi
X
28 November 2014
For the third year in a row, Cambodia's premier rice has been voted the world's best at the World Rice Conference. The award, which it shares this year with Thailand, comes at a time when Cambodia is looking at rice exports as a way to increase incomes for its many impoverished subsistence farmers. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

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.
All Thumbs (Movie: Minority Report)i
X
24 November 2014
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 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.
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.
See more >>>