politics

Japan, other nations take small steps on big issues at ASEAN forum

13 Comments

Asia's security forum, that ended Sunday, produced progress on flashpoint issues such as the South China Sea and North Korea, but no game-changing breakthroughs, analysts said.

Saturday's ASEAN Regional Forum, comprising the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus a dozen other Asia-Pacific countries, was the climax of a week of hectic diplomacy in Bali.

It produced an agreement between China and ASEAN countries on a set of guidelines -- nine years in the making -- governing proposed negotiations on a binding code of conduct for disputed territory in the South China Sea.

It also provided a venue for the first meeting in more than two years between the chief nuclear envoys of North and South Korea, providing fresh hope for the resumption of six-party talks on the North's disarmament.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended alongside her Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, as well as the foreign ministers of Japan, South Korea and Russia.

ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said the results spoke for themselves and dismissed doubters who describe the regional bloc as little more than a talking shop.

The South China Sea guidelines were a "momentous and historic" landmark which showed that the "ASEAN Regional Forum works," he said.

Yang described the deal announced Wednesday as "very important," adding "a thousand-mile journey begins with the first step."

But others were less than impressed.

Clinton merely "commended" China and voiced concern that the tensions surrounding the sea remained a threat to regional peace.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario also indicated that Chinese words of comfort meant little when China refused to budge from its position that no other country had any rights in the area.

"How can you discuss anything bilaterally when you sit down with them and they say that they own everything?" he said.

ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam stake claims to parts of the potentially oil and gas-rich sea, as does Taiwan.

Shi Yinhong of Beijing's Renmin University told AFP the Bali talks had achieved little from a strategic point of view.

"Of course Clinton's meeting with Yang, and Yang's meetings with his Vietnamese counterpart and other Southeast Asian foreign ministers, all help to ease the tension of the last few weeks," he told AFP.

"But the differences in the positions of the various sides remain."

Former ASEAN chief Rodolfo Severino, head of the Singapore-based ASEAN Studies Centre, said China was becoming more aggressive in asserting its claims in the South China Sea because it had greater resources at its disposal.

"They have interests that they want to protect. Until they are assured that they won't be attacked or invaded from the southeast, it would be very difficult for them to make any concessions," he said.

On North Korea, the United States, Japan and South Korea issued a joint statement after a trilateral meeting in Bali on Saturday in which they encouraged further inter-Korean dialogue.

But they said six-party talks would not resume until the North demonstrated its sincerity by meeting its international obligations under UN resolutions, including "addressing" its uranium enrichment programme.

Kim Yong-Hyun, professor at South Korea's Dongguk University, told AFP the North-South meetings in Bali were a "first step toward the six-party talks" but the uranium issue would be hard to overcome.

"This issue is a very serious obstacle on the path to the six-party talks," he said.

The last six-party round ended in a familiar stalemate in December 2008. The North formally abandoned the process in April 2009, blaming alleged U.S. hostility for its withdrawal, and staged its second nuclear test a month later.

© Agence France-Presse

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
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"But they said six-party talks would not resume until the North demonstrated its sincerity by meeting its international obligations under UN resolutions, including “addressing” its uranium enrichment programme."

Hopefully Japan doesn't once again sabotage said talks by trying to make them all about the bilateral abduction issue.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

another pointless meeting where china talks polite words while still maintains it owns what ever it pleases.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

sunhawk

another pointless meeting where china talks polite words while still maintains it owns what ever it pleases.

Wow isnt that something Japan does a bit of too. Only they also express "extreme displeasure" when Russian dignitaries visit the Kurils, and S Koreans visit their islands. And doesnt Japan use its coast guard to force out vessels around its claimed (but not resolved) islands?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

yes because leaving a chinese gov't in power that doesn't mind sacrificing millions of its own to accomplish the will of the party is much better then a full scale war with china that would have only gone a few more years. its not just the eastern waters china disputes with. it also claims parts of india, pakistan, afganistan. china has fought small border wars with india before.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

sunhawk:

Yes, once again, America knows best. When China has disputes with its neighbors, as many countries do, it's a worldwide threat which America needs to put their nose in (history repeats itself - hasn't America learnt this?). But when American troops are literally in every corner of the world, it's suddenly for the good of mankind. I don't see China stationing its soldiers in Cuba or the Mexican border. And yet US military is right on the doorsteps of China.

the UN forces should have continued north into china using atomics to balance the numbers

Now that is sick. Typical of the 'invade and kill first, ask questions and look for weapons later' mindset. You certainly don't mind getting innocent people killed just to get what you want. And please don't pretend you care about the millions being 'sacrificed' by the Chinese government.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tibet has learned what China is capable of. I hope no other country has too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the chinese communist gov't killed more of its own people since world war two then any invading foreign army ever has in the history of china.

before ww2 when the united states was isolationist we had things like world wars. america is all over the world because a lot of nations ask the americans to be there.

china only cares for china. how can any nation have the audacity to claim waters hundreds of miles away from its land and only a few miles from the land of another nation. the senkaku's are barren rocks in the middle of no where. japan has been administering them for decades if not longer. china only recently lays claim to them because of the natural gas fields found on the sea floor near them. china doesn't even have the scruples to at least claim they trying to bring ethnic chinese people back into the nation of china like nazi germany did in the 1930s. its all about resources for china. more land for mining, more seas for fishing and drilling.

there is no point in such talks with china until china offers something of substance.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

the chinese communist gov't killed more of its own people since world war two then any invading foreign army ever has in the history of china.

and how does that justify your wish that the US shouldve nuked china? are you gonna tell me that because mao killed his own people, other foreign nations should also be allowed to kill chinese people too? and please dont even bother pretending that you care for the ordinary chinese. pathetic you are.

america is all over the world because a lot of nations ask the americans to be there.

ha! tell that to the iraqis whom the US illegally invaded, bombed them, stole their oil, shoot up their women and children, torture and humiliate them in prisons. fact it, US is the most aggressive military nation since ww2.

china only cares for china. how can any nation have the audacity to claim waters hundreds of miles away from its land and only a few miles from the land of another nation.

ever heard of the british claims to the falkland islands? now thats something.

the senkaku's are barren rocks in the middle of no where. japan has been administering them for decades if not longer. china only recently lays claim to them because of the natural gas fields found on the sea floor near them. china doesn't even have the scruples to at least claim they trying to bring ethnic chinese people back into the nation of china like nazi germany did in the 1930s. its all about resources for china. more land for mining, more seas for fishing and drilling.

russia have controlled thekurils for decades now, so why do japan still desperately try to claim them? korea have controlled dokdo for decades now, so why is japan still claiming them? tell me that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tibet has learned what China is capable of. I hope no other country has too.

ooh tibet. you should ask the iraqis and afghans what the US is capable of. they should tell you the horrors which western media are too afraid to report. that is until wikileaks came along....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

difference between china/tibet and US/iraq/afgan. china is there to stay and keep tibet as part of china. the united states went in removed some bad people and is trying to leave the places. iraq and afganistan flags fly over their capitals, not the flag of the united states.

russia invaded the kurils after the war was over. most of the world considers them japanese islands illegally occupied by russia.

china lost the senkakus in an earlier war with japan.

if china really wanted to play ball they would give up their claim on the islands in exchange for shared fishing/drilling rights with japan in the waters around.

these talks are just china acting nice trying to sway the opinion of the minor asian countries.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

difference between china/tibet and US/iraq/afgan. china is there to stay and keep tibet as part of china. the united states went in removed some bad people and is trying to leave the places. iraq and afganistan flags fly over their capitals, not the flag of the united states.

tibet has been part of china centuries before united states was even formed! centuries before the native americans had their lands stolen from them, send to reservation camps, and culture wiped out! the US aim is to not remove 'bad' governments, but to replace them with a pro-US government. the US has been involved in toppling democratically elected governments, in which many were replaced with dictatorships. so much for 'democracy' when the US have been working to overthrow them! oh btw, do you really think the iraqis were glad that the US came and bombed them country and slaughtered their women and children? yet here you are calling china the nazis. how ironic.

russia invaded the kurils after the war was over. most of the world considers them japanese islands illegally occupied by russia.

russia won the war and took kurils as the spoils. just like how japan stole the diaoyu islands after the war with china, through unequal treaties. if you think russia taking the kurils was unfail, then so was the case with the diaoyu islands. and please dont lie. most of the world does not consider the islands as being illegally occupied. just because the US supports japan's claims, it doesnt mean the whole world does too.

if china really wanted to play ball they would give up their claim on the islands in exchange for shared fishing/drilling rights with japan in the waters around.

oh right. if sharing was such easy thing, then why did japan reject russia's offer to share the kurils?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@guanyu there is a huge difference in acquisition through treaty and invading while no one is looking or can react.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

sunhawk: "the chinese communist gov't killed more of its own people since world war two then any invading foreign army ever has in the history of china."

Off the wall comments as usual, I see. How many did Japan kill during its attempt to colonize most of Asia? More than 10 million -- that's more than the Holocaust, my friend. That said, I see no reason why more cities in Japan should have been nuked, because it wasn't the people who were wrong, it was the moronic government of Japan, and idiots in Washington who needed to prove that their billions of dollars experiment worked. Shame on you for thinking China should have been nuked as well! By your mindsight, if they did that to everyone you claim 'deserved' it, Japan would no longer exist at all.

And yes, Dokdo is Korean, and the Kuriles Russian, but for the same reason you and other Japanese cry about how Sengaku is Japanese you do a 180 and say "It's not the same thing" for the other island disputes. Give it a rest, sunhawk.

"@guanyu there is a huge difference in acquisition through treaty and invading while no one is looking or can react."

How about with the Ryukyus?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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