Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) — Chinese and Southeast Asian officials have agreed on a draft of guidelines to avert (避免) tension(緊張) in the South China Sea.
China, which had until now resisted taking part in a code of conduct, changed its mind during a meeting with senior officials of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, inBali,Indonesia, on Wednesday.
“This is an important milestone document on the cooperation amongChinaand ASEAN countries,"China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters. “And we have a bright future and we are looking forward to future cooperation."
The document, “Guidelines (行動綱領)on the Implementation(履行)of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," will now have to be approved by the government of China and ASEAN countries.
But all sides called it a hopeful sign toward a peaceful resolution to the overlapping claims in theSouth China Sea.
Among the goals of the guidelines are a good-faith attempt(嘗試) by all sides to promote(促進) dialogue and clearly identify any project they undertake(承擔) in the disputed(爭論的) region.
The South China Sea — a 1.3 million square mile patch(一小塊土地) of the Pacific Ocean bracketed(相等)by China and several Southeast Asian nations — is dotted with hundreds of largely uninhabited(不受禁令約束的)islands and coral atolls(環礁)that are home to some of the world’s most diverse(多種的) marine life.
Also under its waves lie potentially huge reserves of natural gas and oil. A Chinese estimate suggests as much as 213 billion barrels of oil lie untapped(未使用過的) in the South China Sea which, if true, would make it the largest oil reserve[(使)反向]outside Saudi Arabia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
That prospect(探測、試掘)has cross-stitched the sea with competing claims from China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. A recent spate(大量的) of incidents between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels(船艦) in the sea has fueled (刺激)a growing rift(失和) between the communist neighbors, creating strange bedfellows(夥伴) as Hanoi embraces(擁抱、接受) closer military ties with historic foes(仇人)in Washington.
In late May, the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense reported that a Chinese patrol boat(巡邏船) slashed(大幅減少) a submerged(在水中的) cable of a oil and gas survey ship operated(運作) by PetroVietnam(石油越南—一間公司), the state energy firm.
A similar incident happened on June 9 when a Chinese patrol boat cut cables from a Vietnamese ship doing seismic surveys(地震探勘) off its southern coast, Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry reported.
Beijing maintains(堅持) that Vietnamese vessels(船艦) have been illegally surveying in Chinese waters and harassing Chinese fishing boats.
Vietnam is not the only nation skirmishing[發生小爭執(戰爭)] with Chinese patrol boats.
The Philippines, on the western border of the South China Sea, also reported Chinese boats cutting cables of a survey ship and threatening to ram(撞倒) its boats in March, according to Manila’s Foreign Ministry.
China claims both nations were exploring in disputed(爭論的) waters.Chinasays it is not to blame.
“If you want to know why there is tension in South China Sea, I think you have to go and ask the country or countries that have made all the provocations(煽動、引起不快的原因)," Cui Lei, China’s vice minister of the Foreign Ministry, told CNN in a rare interview last month.
Chinaclaims there could be enough oil and gas to rivalSaudi Arabia’s reserves, but those claims have yet to be proven, according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration report. Still, there are enough proven wells in the South China Sea to tantalize(愚弄) the players, which explains why oil and gas survey vessels are at the heart of the recent incidents.
The smaller nations in the region are feeling the pressure to stake(以…為賭注) their claims for oil and fishing rights, or risk losing them to a more assertive(獨斷的) China, analysts say.
“There’s a sense coastal states like Vietnam and the Philippines need to use the economic area more urgently, so they need to catch more fish now, they need to discover more oil now," said James Manicom, an expert on maritime(海的) disputes at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada.
At the heart of both disputes is a term of international maritime law known as “Exclusive Economic Zone," where nations are allowed sole(獨佔) rights to fish and develop resources within 200 nautical miles of a country’s shores. That has created interest in nations’ grabbing uninhabited islands — often little more than rocky atolls — to extend their zone.
Chinalays the broadest claim, covering all of theSpratlyIslandsin the southern part of the ocean andParacelIslandsto the north — essentially most of theSouth China Sea.TaiwanandVietnamalso claim the entirety of both island groups, whileMalaysia,Bruneiand thePhilippinessay they own part of the Spratlys. All butBruneioccupy some of the disputed islands with naval bases, airstrips and even resorts.
TheUnited Stateswaded into the water dispute a year ago whenClintonattended the annual defense meeting inSingapore. Clinton rattled(使激動) Beijing when she offered to mediate(調解) the dispute and suggested a peaceful outcome was in the United States’ national interests(利益). At the time, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi calledClinton’s comments “an attack onChina."
The shipping lanes(航道) of the South China Sea are among the busiest in the world and a vital(維持生命的) lifeline for China’s growing hunger for commodities(必需品) such as oil, natural gas and iron ore.
[ Reason or response]
From this news from CNN, we can clearly find out that there’s a really serious conflict between the ASEAN countries and China. By the rising of China, we couldn’t stop to survey, to discover this new appearance under the veil. I just read a book called <Le Dessous des Cartes>, a book that has been translated in to Chinese, shows that the expense of military o PRC has increased a lot.
From the survey of the South China Sea(南海or南中國海), we can find out that the resources under this 1.3 million square mile patch are abundant. Not only China, but adjacent countries such as Vietnam, Philippines,Taiwan, or even Brunei(汶萊) and Malaysia wanted to divide up the sovereignty of the South China Sea.
According to the “Exclusive Economic Zone", nations are allowed sole rights to fish and develop resources within 200 nautical miles of a country’s shores. The sovereignty of the South China Seas should belong to those South East Asian Countries, but why did China declared that it has the sovereignty of the South China Sea? That’s because China occupied “James Shore" (曾母暗沙) , and some islands on the South China Sea. If China holds the the sovereignty, fish, oil, metal are all theirs. And don’t forget, if you have the sovereignty of this part of the sea, you can control the navigate right and control the South East Asia situation. If according to China’s situation, Taiwan do deserve to share the South China Sea, because Taiwan has the sovereignty of Donsha Islands (暫譯，網路上尚未有真正的翻譯名稱).
Frankly speaking, I thought this news wasn’t so appropriate, because CNN only interviewed China, but what about other countries like Vietnam , Philippines, Taiwan, or even Brunei ?This TV company from the US couldn’t just only focus on the country which is strong or having lots of powers. We can even clearly find out that China may wanted to monopolize the sovereignty of the South China sea by using disgusting means from those countries reply after Vietnam said why the incident happened, but China said it’s not the one to be blame, I think the ASEAN countries and Taiwan should stand out and have a complete debate with China, or it would no longer eat up the sovereignty and those sources, quietly.