China Asked To Speed Up Maritime Security Talks

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Naval clashes


Southeast Asian foreign ministers voiced "serious concerns" on Saturday over naval clashes between Vietnam and China as the regional group's top official urged Beijing to step up efforts to advance talks on maritime security.

Foreign ministers and heads of state of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are facing a test of unity at their summit this weekend as some members express alarm over China's growing assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea and push for a strong joint statement.

Tensions ratcheted up in the past week after China positioned a huge oil rig in an area also claimed by Vietnam, with each country accusing the other of ramming its ships in the region close to the disputed Paracel Islands.

ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh, who is Vietnamese, told Reuters the incident added urgency to concluding talks between ASEAN and China on agreeing a code of conduct in the resource-rich sea - a set of maritime rules to ease tensions.

But he pointedly said China's efforts to conclude the talks had fallen short of ASEAN's. Despite holding three rounds of talks since last year, the discussions had yet to focus on "substantive issues," he said.

"We need efforts on both sides," he said in an interview on the sidelines of the summit in Myanmar's capital, Naypyitaw.

"On ASEAN, we have made great efforts. We need efforts on the part of China."

Tensions over the sea, which is claimed in part by four ASEAN members as well asChina and Taiwan, have strained the group's unity in recent years, resulting in an embarrassing breakdown of a summit in Cambodia in 2012.

In their statement, ASEAN foreign ministers on Saturday called for "an early conclusion" of the code of conduct and expressed concern about "increased tensions in the area".

At the summit, which ends on Sunday, countries including Vietnam and thePhilippines are pushing for a strong statement, while others - mindful of China's economic weight - are reluctant to directly criticise Beijing, diplomats say.

Myanmar, which is chairing ASEAN for the first time this year, signalled a softer approach to China.

Myanmar's government spokesman, Ye Ht, said ASEAN and China have a "very good relationship" and both recognise China's continued growth as a political and economic power should not be marred by conflict with its neighbours.

"China is not only big friends with Myanmar, but China is also the biggest trade partner with most of the ASEAN countries," he told reporters in Naypyitaw. "SoChina's peaceful rising is very important for the ASEAN region."


Both Vietnam and staunch U.S. ally the Philippines have insisted the South ChinaSea be discussed at the summit.

Philippine diplomats told Reuters some member states were opposed to issuing a separate statement on the latest South China Sea dispute or mentioning the tensions in the final communiqué due to be released on Sunday.

China says territorial disputes should be discussed on a bilateral basis. It claims the entire South China Sea, putting it in conflict with Taiwan, Vietnam, thePhilippines, Malaysia, and Brunei. The last four are ASEAN members.

Speaking to reporters in Manila, Philippine President Benigno Aquino rejected calls from China for bilateral talks to resolve territorial issues and said dialogue will not resolve the issues that are also affecting other regional countries.

Tensions spiked in another part of the South China Sea over the past week whenBeijing demanded the Philippines release a Chinese fishing boat and its crew seized on Tuesday off Half Moon Shoal in the Spratly Islands, which both countries claim.

(Additional reporting by Nguyen Phuong Linh in HANOI, Martin Petty in BANGKOK and Manuel Mogato in MANILA; Editing by Stuart Grudgings and Sophie Hares)

Maritime Today

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

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


Maersk to Idle Vessel

The world's biggest container-ship operator Maersk Line  has confirmed market talk that it has temporarily idled one of its largest vessels - yet another sign that the industry is in dire straits,

Russian Navy Trying Hard for Facelift

Official announcements related to naval shipbuilding give the appearance of a Russian Navy that is undergoing a rapid revival. However, the reality is that many

USNS Maury Completes Acceptance Trials

USNS Maury (T-AGS 66) completed Acceptance Trials, November 6, following a week of extensive ship tests and underway events, included testing of major propulsion,

Maritime Security

U.S. Ups Philippines Aid as South China Sea Turmoil Builds

The United States has raised its military aid to the Philippines this year to $79 million, the U.S. ambassador said on Wednesday, as tension rises in the region

Hague Court Begins Hearing On South China Sea Issue

A United Nations arbitral tribunal in The Hague heard some of the Philippines’ territorial claims over the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday.

Philippines Takes South China Sea Claim to Hague

Could bolster claims by other countries against China; China boycotting proceedings, rejects court's authority. The Philippines asked global judges on Tuesday


Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar JV is 5

On 23 November 2015, Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar celebrated its first 5 years of operation. With 40 vessels delivered or under construction, the yard has proven

Deltamarin to Designs First LNG Handysize Bulk Carriers

Deltamarin Ltd proudly announces that it has signed a contract to design the world’s first LNG handysize bulk carriers, which will point the way towards greener shipping of commodities.

Wärtsilä's' Digital Services for Performance Enhancement

Wärtsilä, a global leader in complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets, launches a new service portfolio, Wärtsilä Genius services to help

Maritime Safety

Rickmers-Linie Completes Recertification

Rickmers-Linie, the Hamburg-based specialist in worldwide liner services for heavy lifts and project cargoes, has successfully completed audits by DNV GL which took place between 3 and 5 November.

Sandra Could Reach Hurricane Strength

Interests in southern portions of the Baja California peninsula have been advised to monitor the progress of Sandra, as Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches may

Seagull's Software Tool for Benchmarking Seafarers Knowledge

Seagull Maritime has launched an advanced software tool able to benchmark seafarer knowledge levels, allowing shipowners and operators to compare their crew

Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics 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: 0.2147 sec (5 req/sec)