White House Urges Dialogue, Not Intimidation In China Rig Dispute

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
President Barack Obama

 

The White House said on Wednesday that a dispute between China and Vietnam that erupted within days of President Barack Obama's visit to Asia to address regional tensions needs to be resolved with dialogue, not intimidation.

While the United States was not a party to the dispute, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama had repeatedly stressed on his trip last month the need for peaceful dialogue on various disputes involving China and the South China Sea.

The renewed tension between Vietnam and China underscores one of the biggest challenges in Asia facing Obama, who is under pressure by America's allies to accelerate a "pivot" of military assets to the region to counter China's rising influence.

Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula - and perceptions of limited U.S. options to get Moscow to back down - have heightened unease in parts of Asia over whether Beijing will be emboldened to use force to pursue its territorial claims in the East and South China Seas.

The standoff in the South China Sea and anti-China violence in tightly controlledVietnam have raised fears of an escalation in tensions between the Communist-ruled neighbors, which fought a brief but bloody border war in 1979.

Such disputes "need to be resolved through dialogue, not through intimidation," Carney told a regular briefing. "We again urge dialogue in their resolution."

An Asian diplomat said it was important that Washington took a firm line with Beijing while also using its influence with Vietnam to calm the mood.

He said the concern among Southeast Asian countries was that China was seeking incremental gains in provoking a series of crises with its neighbors, a tactic that could eventually change the regional landscape unless it was met with a resolute response.

Thousands of Vietnamese set fire to foreign factories they believed to be Chinese on Tuesday in an angry reaction to Chinese oil drilling in a part of the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam, officials said.

The confrontation blew up after China moved a giant oil rig into an area of the South China Sea also claimed by Vietnam. Dozens of ships from both countries are around the rig and the two sides have accused each other of intentional collisions, increasing the risk of open confrontation.

The U.S. State Department said it was monitoring events in Vietnam closely, and urged restraint from all parties, while adding: "We support the right of individuals to assemble peacefully to protest."

'NEW REALITY'

The White House statement comes as Obama's policy toward Asia has come under some criticism at home for being more rhetoric than substance.

The current crisis erupted within days of a week-long visit to Asia by Obama in late April in which he pledged that Washington would live up to its obligation to defend its allies in the region.

The foreign minister of Singapore, a close U.S. ally and one of Vietnam's partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said in a speech in Washington on Tuesday that China's rapid rise had already changed the regional dynamic.

"I note that the U.S. is trying to urge all claimants not to resort to aggression and has called for a reduction of tensions," the minister, K. Shanmugam, said.

"To some extent, this reflects the new reality. The U.S. now needs the co-operation of others and asks for it. As opposed to the post World War Two situation, when the U.S. could impose its will."

Ernest Bower, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, called the violence in Vietnam "troubling" and the risk of escalation real.

"I think either China or Vietnam will find a way to back down from this one ... or I think you do end up with some sort of conflict," he said.

Vietnamese resentment against China runs deep, rooted in feelings of national pride and the struggle for independence after decades of war and more than 1,000 years of Chinese colonial rule that ended in the 10th century. Chinese forces invaded northern Vietnam in 1979 and border skirmishes continued into the 1980s.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Bill Trott and Eric Walsh)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Ecuador Pays $112 mln Award to Chevron

Ecuador has paid $112 million to energy company Chevron Corp over a four-decade-old contract dispute, even though it remains in disagreement, the head of the central bank has said.

ASEAN in Discord Ahead of Meeting with top China, U.S. Diplomats

Southeast Asian nations were thrown into disarray after Cambodia on Saturday blocked them from issuing a statement referring to an international court ruling against

Cosco: No to Shark Fin

China's biggest shipping and logistics company Cosco has pledged a total ban on transporting shark's fins,  says SCMP. It called the move a "body blow" to the international shark's fin trade.

Energy

Canada Seek to contain Oil Spill

Authorities are building a new containment boom to fight an oil spill in a major western Canadian river, officials said on Saturday, after the spill breached a

Ecuador Pays $112 mln Award to Chevron

Ecuador has paid $112 million to energy company Chevron Corp over a four-decade-old contract dispute, even though it remains in disagreement, the head of the central bank has said.

Young Taken on PESA Advisory Board

Hoover Container Solutions’ chairman and CEO, Donald Young, has been nominated and elected to the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (PESA) Advisory Board for a three-year term.

Casualties

Migrants Survivors Tell of Struggle at Sea

The bodies of 21 women and one man were brought ashore to Sicily on Friday as fellow migrants described scenes of panic and violence when water poured into their dinghy.

Kooiman to Repair MTS Julius Rütgers

Eiltank Schiffart GmbH & Co KG has placed the order for the repair of the inland waterway tanker vessel Julius Rütgers Shipyard with the shipyard Gerb. Kooiman B.

Crane Collapse at Tappan Zee Bridge Spurs USCG Response

Coast Guard crews are enforcing a safety zone on the Hudson River around the Tappan Zee Bridge after a crane collapsed Tuesday afternoon. At approximately 12:15 p.

News

Canada Seek to contain Oil Spill

Authorities are building a new containment boom to fight an oil spill in a major western Canadian river, officials said on Saturday, after the spill breached a

Ecuador Pays $112 mln Award to Chevron

Ecuador has paid $112 million to energy company Chevron Corp over a four-decade-old contract dispute, even though it remains in disagreement, the head of the central bank has said.

ASEAN in Discord Ahead of Meeting with top China, U.S. Diplomats

Southeast Asian nations were thrown into disarray after Cambodia on Saturday blocked them from issuing a statement referring to an international court ruling against

Consulting

RINA Closes Edif Group Acquisition

RINA S.p.A, the holding company of the multinational testing, inspection, certification and consulting engineering group based in Genoa, Italy, has announced that

CNO Visits Chinese North Sea Fleet

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson visited Chinese North Sea Fleet headquarters, July 20 to meet with fleet commander Vice Adm. Yuan Yubai. The

Fitch Affirms Adani Ports and SEZ at ‘BBB-‘

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) today informed the Stock Exchanges that Fitch Ratings, Singapore has affirmed India-based APSEZ’s Long-Term

Offshore Energy

MOL Signs Long-Term Charter with Uruguayan JV for FSRU

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, has, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Lakler S.A., agreed to conclude a charter contract with Gas Sayago, for

Ithaca’s FPF-1 platform to be moved to Stella field

Ithaca Energy Inc. reports that the "FPF-1" floating production facility has completed the required inclination test as planned and departed the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk, Poland.

Boskalis Awarded Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Contract

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) has been awarded the Offshore Balance of Plant contract by Vattenfall for the construction of Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1108 sec (9 req/sec)