(Image Source: UNCLOS/CIA)


BY JING ZHAO
 

ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN

 

You're watching multisource world video news analysis from Newsy. 

 

In what’s seen as a hopeful move, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, have reached an agreement that could ease tensions over a resource-rich area.

ABC Australia reports...

“The regional grouping ASEAN and China have agreed on preliminary guidelines for cooperation in the South China Sea... even though diplomats concede the final document was watered down, in the name of compromise. … The South China Sea and in particular, the Spratly islands, have long been an intractable regional issue.”

The guidelines are a procedural step. But they bring China closer to an agreement with other Southeast Asian countries over navigation and borders in the region. Before the talks began, Link TV explained why the South China Sea is such a powder keg.

“Tensions have been escalating between China and some of its smaller neighbors over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea. At stake are valuable fishing grounds, potential oil and gas deposits, national pride and access to critical trade routes.”

As if to illustrate the tensions, a small international incident broke out on the same day the guidelines were introduced. The Philippines sent politicians to one of the Spratly islands on a -- quote “sovereignty mission.” Al Jazeera reports:

“Asserting Philippine sovereignty by raising the flag and singing the national anthem. For these four members of congress, it’s a mission accomplished. … The visitors were accompanied by high-ranking military commanders and members of the press. They met with the locals and only stayed for four hours.”

The visit was largely symbolic, intended to shore up Filipino support on the island. But a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told China Daily -- the congressional visit was a provocation.

“China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their surrounding waters … The move of the Philippine side seriously infringed China's territorial sovereignty...”

All this is just one example of tension in the region. But while the new guidelines agreement isn’t binding, CNN says it’s being taken as a positive step.

“...all sides called it a hopeful sign toward a peaceful resolution to the overlapping claims in the South China Sea. Among the goals of the guidelines are a good-faith attempt by all sides to promote dialogue and clearly identify any project they undertake in the disputed region.”

The Spratly guidelines come just before a regional security summit that will include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  The AP reports the islands dispute will likely dominate the agenda.

 

'Like Newsy' on Facebook for updates in your feed.

 

Transcript by Newsy. 

China, ASEAN Agree on Guidelines for South China Sea

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Transcript
Jul 21, 2011

China, ASEAN Agree on Guidelines for South China Sea

(Image Source: UNCLOS/CIA)


BY JING ZHAO
 

ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN

 

You're watching multisource world video news analysis from Newsy. 

 

In what’s seen as a hopeful move, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, have reached an agreement that could ease tensions over a resource-rich area.

ABC Australia reports...

“The regional grouping ASEAN and China have agreed on preliminary guidelines for cooperation in the South China Sea... even though diplomats concede the final document was watered down, in the name of compromise. … The South China Sea and in particular, the Spratly islands, have long been an intractable regional issue.”

The guidelines are a procedural step. But they bring China closer to an agreement with other Southeast Asian countries over navigation and borders in the region. Before the talks began, Link TV explained why the South China Sea is such a powder keg.

“Tensions have been escalating between China and some of its smaller neighbors over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea. At stake are valuable fishing grounds, potential oil and gas deposits, national pride and access to critical trade routes.”

As if to illustrate the tensions, a small international incident broke out on the same day the guidelines were introduced. The Philippines sent politicians to one of the Spratly islands on a -- quote “sovereignty mission.” Al Jazeera reports:

“Asserting Philippine sovereignty by raising the flag and singing the national anthem. For these four members of congress, it’s a mission accomplished. … The visitors were accompanied by high-ranking military commanders and members of the press. They met with the locals and only stayed for four hours.”

The visit was largely symbolic, intended to shore up Filipino support on the island. But a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told China Daily -- the congressional visit was a provocation.

“China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their surrounding waters … The move of the Philippine side seriously infringed China's territorial sovereignty...”

All this is just one example of tension in the region. But while the new guidelines agreement isn’t binding, CNN says it’s being taken as a positive step.

“...all sides called it a hopeful sign toward a peaceful resolution to the overlapping claims in the South China Sea. Among the goals of the guidelines are a good-faith attempt by all sides to promote dialogue and clearly identify any project they undertake in the disputed region.”

The Spratly guidelines come just before a regional security summit that will include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  The AP reports the islands dispute will likely dominate the agenda.

 

'Like Newsy' on Facebook for updates in your feed.

 

Transcript by Newsy. 

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