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Philippines, Vietnam discuss sea feud with China

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:23 a.m. HST, Aug 01, 2013

MANILA » The Philippines' top diplomat said he and his Vietnamese counterpart discussed Thursday  (Wednesday in Hawaii) how their governments can work together to deal with territorial disputes with China, including a possible sharing of information to better guard their territories from intrusions.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh agreed in their meeting in Manila to ask the regional bloc, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to seek an early start of negotiations with China on a legally binding accord to prevent an armed conflict from breaking out in the disputed South China Sea. The territorial rifts were high in the agenda of the meeting, which also touched on increasing trade and a possible extradition pact.

Chinese diplomats and those from the 10-member ASEAN have agreed to soon hold consultations on how such a "code of conduct" in the South China Sea should be concluded. Del Rosario said ASEAN should insist negotiations should start immediately after the consultations.

"We want them to take a giant step on China," del Rosario told reporters after meeting with the Vietnamese delegation. "We decided among ourselves that consultation probably is not enough. We need to talk about negotiations."

Del Rosario said they also discussed China's recent offer to jointly develop disputed areas.

He said the Philippines and Vietnam have a similar position of not accepting any joint venture such as oil and gas exploration with China if Beijing insists that it has sovereignty over the areas to be jointly developed.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Wednesday that Beijing would put aside territorial disputes and seek joint maritime development but insist it has sovereignty over such areas.

"We must insist that the sovereignty belongs to us, but we can shelve the disputes, pursue joint development, promote mutually beneficial, friendly cooperation, and seek and widen common interests," the state-run China Central Television quoted Xi as saying.

Many fear the long-unresolved territorial conflicts, which involve the three countries along with Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan, could spark an armed conflict and disrupt the region's economic growth.

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hunebasami wrote:
If you don't fight back China will run you over. Look at Tibet.
on August 1,2013 | 06:46AM
cojef wrote:
If they choose to, they can run over any neighbor without blinking an eye for that matter, but they covet a bigger role in geo-politics and biding their time. They are waiting until we have exhausted overselves by over-spending just like the Greeks, Spanish and Italians. The want to sit where we are currently dictating to the rest of the world our influence. The Chinese have time on their side and although have suffered severely over the centuries, they seem to rise up time and time again. Their rich culture is deep in knowing how to roll with the punches and survive. They have accepted ,where necessary, western ways, but still remain true communist for control of the masses.
on August 1,2013 | 07:17AM
Tarball wrote:
China, the far east bully . . . . . . first, attempting to intimidate Japan over The Senkaku Islands, now this issue with The Phillipines and Viet Nam over The Spratley Islands. The nations of Asia / Southeast Asia must stand up to this aggressiveness
on August 1,2013 | 07:22AM
localguy wrote:
China, the Ugly Asian on the block, now acting like a bully, daring anyone to cross the line. All the time wealthy Chinese are leaving China as fast as they can. China, for all its bluster, is still a communist country controlled by the dysfunctional "Party" Problems are simmering to a boil, the Party is doing nothing, afraid to act, no answer on how to fix. Party members are caught taking bribes, sweetheart deals, lying and cheating, what they do best. China will never be a country with world leadership until major changes are made. Will this happen? Time will tell but Vegas bookies say not for a looooong time.
on August 1,2013 | 08:40AM
South76 wrote:
Nothing will change in this bully communist country until the people of China rise up and get rid of the one party system that they have. Just look at other countries where there is one party system, every single one of them are riddled with corrupt politicians. In a one party system there is no checks and balances and only the politicians and politically connected are getting rich while everyone else is eating crumbs and what is left.....and we are slowly seeing this change in this country where we heading into a one party system---no checks and balances. A good example of that happening is on our playground the United Socialist Island State of Hawaii, sad but it's true...
on August 1,2013 | 09:20AM
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