South China Sea row: Asean seeks islands deal
Published: 21st Jul 2011 18:35:40
Asian officials have sought to play down an increasingly tense territorial dispute in the South China Sea.
Leaders of regional bloc Asean signed a deal with Chinese officials aimed at establishing guidelines for talks on the dispute.
But the agreement was short on detail, and did not mention the overlapping territorial claims.
The Philippines and Vietnam, both Asean members, have become embroiled in bad tempered exchanges with China recently.
On Wednesday a group of Philippine politicians visited an island in the disputed Spratly chain, sparking an angry statement of condemnation from China.
And crowds of Vietnamese have held rowdy anti-Beijing protests every weekend for the past two months.
But at the weekend, dozens of Vietnamese protesters were arrested and the rallies suppressed.
Analysts say the government had given its tacit approval to the protests, so the crackdown was probably designed to placate China before the Asean meeting.
China hailed the agreement on new guidelines, with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi telling reporters: "We are looking to the future. We want to be good friends, good partners and good neighbours with Asean countries."
Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa also welcomed the guidelines, telling the BBC they were the result of more than five years of pushing and negotiating.
But Vietnam and the Philippines were less keen, suggesting that much more work was needed before a full deal could be reached with China.
China and Taiwan claim the whole of the South China Sea as their territory, including the Spratly and Paracel island groups.
Vietnam also claims both island groups, while the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia also have overlapping claims in the area.
The region is thought to be rich in oil and gas, and also has vital shipping routes.
At 12:01:43 in Northern IrelandA gang of up to eight men have damaged a car in Londonderry in what police have called a "sectarian hate crime".
At 12:01:00 in SportLeicester City manager Nigel Pearson wants his squad to mark their Championship title win by setting a new club record points total.
At 11:56:41 in WalesThe director of care at a children's hospice has been cleared of professional misconduct over the way she dealt with a dying teenager.
At 11:54:04 in ScotlandIntelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has been installed as rector at Glasgow University.
At 11:54:02 in SportPaul Scholes has returned to help Manchester United's coaching team following the sacking of David Moyes.
At 11:54:01 in WorldA New York police public relations exercise in which members of the public were asked to share photos of themselves positively interacting with police officers has backfired.
At 11:53:19 in ScotlandScottish manufactured export sales fell by 4% in the fourth quarter of last year, according to official figures.
At 11:51:14 in EntertainmentThe number of viewer complaints over the audibility of BBC One drama Jamaica Inn has escalated, with the second episode seeing a decline in ratings.
At 11:51:09 in SportThe International Rules competition between Ireland and Australia has been reduced from two games to one for 2014.
At 11:50:20 in SportMiddlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka has blamed himself for Tuesday's 2-0 defeat by Reading, the club's second loss in four days.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. South China Sea row: Asean seeks islands deal [Online] (Updated 21st Jul 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/171976/South-China-Sea-row-Asean-seeks-islands-deal [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
UK property sales were 19% higher in March than the same month a year ago as buyers continued to return to the market, figures show.
A teenage blogger with terminal cancer is close to raising £1m for charity after posting his final message to followers.
The number of viewer complaints over the audibility of BBC One drama Jamaica Inn has escalated, with the second episode seeing a decline in ratings.
Eight major renewable energy projects, expected to support 8,500 jobs, have been given government approval.
Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has been installed as rector at Glasgow University.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com