U.S., China spar again on South China Seas dispute

Joseph Keefe
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

China hit back at the United States over the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday, after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said recent Chinese moves in the waters were "provocative".

Tensions rose in the resource-rich sea last week after China moved a giant oil rig into an area also claimed by Vietnam. Each country accused the other of ramming its ships near the disputed Paracel Islands.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, rejecting rival claims to parts of it from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.

"He (Kerry) said China's introduction of an oil rig and numerous government vessels in waters disputed with Vietnam was provocative," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

"He urged both sides to de-escalate tensions, ensure safe conduct by their vessels at sea, and resolve the dispute through peaceful means in accordance with international law."

China's foreign ministry said there certainly had been provocative moves in the South China Sea, but that China was not the guilty party and repeated that it was the United States' fault for encouraging such behaviour.

"We hope that the U.S. side can carefully reflect - if they really hope for the Pacific Ocean to be peaceful, what kind of role do they actually want to play?" spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.

Hua said that Wang urged Kerry to "objectively and fairly" look at the South China Sea issue, and "act and speak cautiously".

China says that the South China Sea issue should be resolved via direct talks between the parties concerned, and has bristled at what it sees as unwarranted U.S. interference.

China has also looked askance at the U.S. "pivot" back to Asia, especially Washington's efforts to boost existing military links with Tokyo and Manila.

In separate remarks to visiting Singapore Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam, Kerry said the United States was deeply concerned by China's "aggressive act".

"We are particularly concerned - all nations that are engaged in navigation and traffic within the South China Sea, the East China Sea, are deeply concerned about this aggressive act," Kerry said in the Monday meeting.

"We want to see a code of conduct created; we want to see this resolved peacefully through the Law of the Sea, through arbitration, through any other means, but not direct confrontation and aggressive action," Kerry added, according to a transcript of his comments released by the State Department.

Speaking to fellow leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at a summit on Sunday, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Vietnam had acted with "utmost restraint" and used all means of dialogue to request China remove the rig.

Dung said China was slandering his country and committing dangerous violations.

However the communique issued at the end of the summit by the 10-nation ASEAN group contained no criticism of China.

Vietnamese state media said that Vietnamese and Chinese ships had again used water cannon on each other on Monday, though there were no injuries.

Chinese spokeswoman Hua would neither confirm nor deny the new face-off, repeating that China was urging Vietnam to "end its provocative actions" and withdraw its ships.


Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Eric M. Johnson

Maritime Reporter February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Energy

ClassNK Updates Guidelines for Floating Offshore Facilities

ClassNK released a new version of its Guidelines for Floating Offshore Facilities for LNG/LPG Production, Storage, Offloading and Regasification.   Available on the ClassNK website,

Lithuania Looks to U.S. for Gas

Lithuanian liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer Litgas has signed a preliminary agreement with a U.S. supplier, looking to lessen the Baltic nation's dependence on Russia.

Petrobras Denies Hiring JPMorgan for License Sales

Petróleo Brasileiro SA denied on Friday that it has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co to handle the sale of oil exploration licenses in deep-sea areas off the coast this year.

Maritime Security

Some Roads Reopened in Brazil, Truck Strike Persists

Striking truckers lifted their blockade of dozens of highways in Brazil after police began fining and arresting protesters, though strike organizers said they had

US, Chinese Navies Conduct Joint Exercise

A U.S. Navy littoral combat ship and a Chinese Navy frigate conducted a joint training exercise in the South China Sea.   The U.S. Navy littoral combat ship USS

MCPON Stevens Delivers Congressional Testimony

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(AW/NAC) Michael Stevens testified before Congress Feb. 25. Stevens appeared before the House and Armed Services

Eye on the Navy

US, Chinese Navies Conduct Joint Exercise

A U.S. Navy littoral combat ship and a Chinese Navy frigate conducted a joint training exercise in the South China Sea.   The U.S. Navy littoral combat ship USS

MCPON Stevens Delivers Congressional Testimony

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(AW/NAC) Michael Stevens testified before Congress Feb. 25. Stevens appeared before the House and Armed Services

US Keen in Maritime Cooperation with India

The US is keen in exploring great opportunities for co-operation on maritime issues with India, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations told members

Government Update

Some Roads Reopened in Brazil, Truck Strike Persists

Striking truckers lifted their blockade of dozens of highways in Brazil after police began fining and arresting protesters, though strike organizers said they had

Lithuania Looks to U.S. for Gas

Lithuanian liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer Litgas has signed a preliminary agreement with a U.S. supplier, looking to lessen the Baltic nation's dependence on Russia.

MCPON Stevens Delivers Congressional Testimony

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(AW/NAC) Michael Stevens testified before Congress Feb. 25. Stevens appeared before the House and Armed Services

Offshore Energy

ClassNK Updates Guidelines for Floating Offshore Facilities

ClassNK released a new version of its Guidelines for Floating Offshore Facilities for LNG/LPG Production, Storage, Offloading and Regasification.   Available on the ClassNK website,

Petrobras Denies Hiring JPMorgan for License Sales

Petróleo Brasileiro SA denied on Friday that it has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co to handle the sale of oil exploration licenses in deep-sea areas off the coast this year.

Brent up to $61, First Monthly Gain Since July

Brent premium over U.S. crude widens to $12; China's implied oil demand set to grow 3 percent this year. Crude oil futures rebounded on Friday and Brent headed

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2586 sec (4 req/sec)