Tag Archives: President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama and the leaders of Southeast Asia have called for peaceful resolution of the region’s maritime disputes as they concluded a summit in California

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — President Barack Obama and the leaders of Southeast Asia called Tuesday for peaceful resolution of the region’s maritime disputes as they concluded a summit in California. Obama told a news conference that disputes must be resolved by legal means, including a case brought by the Philippines challenging China’s sweeping claims over most of the South China Sea. China has refused to take part in the proceedings, but Obama said parties to the U.N. law of the seas are obligated to respect the ruling, expected later this year. Obama has been hosting 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, in the U.S. for the first time. That sends a subtle message to China that the U.S. remains an important force in the region. But the leaders’ joint statement after two days of talks avoided direct reference to China, reflecting the careful path that ASEAN members tread in their diplomacy with the world powers. “Any disputes between claimants must be resolved peacefully through legal means such as the upcoming arbitration ruling under the U.N. Convention of the Law of the Seas, which the parties are obligated to respect and abide by,” Obama said. http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2016-02-16/obama-to-wrap-summit-with-southeast-asian-leaders

Obama: We will continue to test China over disputed islands

MOSCOW – The US has declared that they will push China on the issue of disputed islands, promising to “test” China while accusing them of abusing their “might.” President Barack Obama said in an interview with Channel News Asia that his administration will “continue to test” Beijing’s pledge to not militarize the disputed South China Sea. He accused China of abusing their power in the region by placing missiles on islands in the disputed Parcel archipelago. Read more: http://www.interaksyon.com/article/124345/obama-we-will-continue-to-test-china-over-disputed-islands

Park appeals to Beijing on South China Sea

President Park Geun-hye called on China Sunday to peacefully cooperate with neighboring countries in resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea, noting during the annual East Asia Summit (EAS) that the issue is of “grave concern” to Seoul’s global trading. On a final leg of a three-nation tour, Park stressed that more than 90 percent of Korea’s crude oil imports and 30 percent of total trade bypass the area’s strategic waterways, and warned Beijing to abide by the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. Signed in 2002 by China and 11 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the agreement promises to “enhance favorable conditions for a peaceful and durable solution of differences and disputes among countries concerned.” “Korea has consistently stressed that the dispute must be peacefully resolved according to international agreements and code of conduct,” a Blue House official quoted Park as saying at the convention in Malaysia. “China must guarantee the right of free navigation and flight.” The president’s comments were made during the 10th EAS at which 18 leaders from the East Asia region and adjoining countries convened for discussions about growth and trade. U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took a tougher stance on the issue, lashing out at the Chinese government for building military facilities in the area and claiming islands. Read more: http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=3011908

South China Sea: China navy ‘restrained’ at US challenge

But he warned they stand ready to respond to repeated breaches of Chinese sovereignty. Beijing, which claims almost the entire energy-rich South China Sea through which $US5 trillion ($7 billion) in ship-borne trade passes yearly, has stepped up a program of land reclamation and construction in disputed islands and reefs there that has sparked concern in the Asia-Pacific region. The United States has called for a halt to China’s artificial island building, and in recent weeks has tried to signal its determination to challenge Beijing over the disputed sea by sending military ships and planes near the islands. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/south-china-sea-china-navy-restrained-at-us-challenge-20151120-gl3rzg.html#ixzz3s4xQeu3x

Obama: China must stop all reclamation

President Benigno Aquino III and his sister Maria Elena Aquino-Cruz, right, greet U.S. President Barack Obama to the welcome dinner at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila, Philippines Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. AP/Bullit Marquez US leader pitches for EDCA    MANILA, Philippines – “Bold steps” are needed to ease tensions in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, including making China stop its reclamation and building of military structures in disputed waters, US President Barack Obama said yesterday. “We discussed the impact of China’s reclamation and construction activities on regional stability. We agreed on the need for bold steps to lower tensions including pledging to halt further reclamation, new construction and militarization of disputed areas in the South China Sea,” Obama said in a statement after a bilateral meeting with Aquino on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summot in Manila. Obama cited his visit last Tuesday to the Philippine Navy flagship BRP Gregorio del Pilar where he announced increased maritime assistance to the Philippines. For his part, Aquino said he and Obama discussed the maritime disputes and security in the region and agreed that international law should guide behavior and actions of all countries with stakes in the region. “I take this opportunity to reiterate the Philippines’ view that the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea must be continuously upheld, consistent with international law,” Aquino said. The Philippines resorted to arbitration to clarify its maritime entitlements in the South China Sea as China became more aggressive in reclaiming disputed islands apparently to change their features and expand its exclusive economic zone under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Under the UNCLOS, arbitration is one of the avenues that claimant-countries can resort to for dispute settlement. Obama expressed support for Manila’s resorting to arbitration and reaffirmed his country’s unwavering commitment to the security and defense of the Philippines. “As I have said earlier, we are not claimants ourselves, but we fully support a process in which through international law and international norms these issues are resolved,” Obama said in a press briefing after his meeting with Aquino. Read more: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/11/19/1523553/obama-china-must-stop-all-reclamation

Malcolm Turnbull absolutely behind US in South China Sea

Malcolm Turnbull has pledged Australia’s absolute support for the United States in its campaign against China’s incursions in the South China Sea which are posing threats to freedom of navigation. Following a meeting between Mr Turnbull and US President Barack Obama in Manila, where they are attending the APEC summit, both men made it clear that respect for the rule of law and peaceful resolutions to disputes were vital to regional stability. “It’s very important for us to uphold the basic principle that these issues should be resolved by international norms, the rule of law and be peacefully settled,” Mr Obama said. Mr Turnbull replied: “We are very much of the same mind.” “We are committed to the rule of law, to ensuring that big changes in this region occur in a peaceful manner and in accordance to international law. That’s absolutely vital to security in our region,” he said. In their public comments, neither leader canvassed the prospect of an Australian warship joining the US if it choses to send a warship close to one of China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea, as it did last month. On October 27, destroyer USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands. This was viewed by Beijing as a potential challenge to its territorial claims in the contested waters, which are not recognised by Australia, the US or other regional nations. The Chinese are building artificial islands in a strategy designed to extend their sovereign territory in the seaway through which 60 per cent of Australia’s exports are shipped. As well as the response to the terror attack in Paris, Chinese belligerence in the region is expected to be a dominant topic on the sidelines of APEC on Wednesday and Thursday. Read more: http://www.afr.com/news/politics/election/malcolm-turnbull-absolutely-behind-us-in-south-china-sea-20151117-gl1ae2#ixzz3s4y5lMvv

A bumpy “one belt one road” project

When Chen Bingcai said China had US$3 trillion in foreign reserves during a forum in Nanning on the One Belt One Road project for Asian journalists earlier this year, he was trying to show that his government had a large enough piggy bank to undertake the gargantuan project. “We can utilise the US$3 trillion which we collected over the last 30 years,” said the deputy director of the training department in the Chinese Academy of Governance. As a comparison, Asean’s collective GDP for 2014 was US$2.57 trillion. One Belt One Road is a reference to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. This is China’s grand economic strategy and a solution for domestic overcapacity by opening foreign markets and connecting economically with Europe and all the other parts of Asia – West, Central, South and Southeast. It is estimated to cover 4.4 billion people (63 percent of world population) and US$2.1 trillion gross production (29 percent of world GDP). China is leveraging on its strength in financial resources to get this project off the ground. China will be spending over US$200 billion on the One Belt One Road by 2018. The government plans to do this by increasing its capital allocation from 15 to 30 percent over the next three years. On top of that, China recently contributed US$40 billion to its new Silk Road Fund, designed to improve trade and transport links in Asia. There is also the Maritime Silk Road Bank, which hopes to attract US$16 billion in investment. Then there are the two major multilateral institutions, namely, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with US$100 billion initial equity, and the New Development Bank with US$50 billion equity proposed by BRICS countries, headquartered in Beijing and Shanghai respectively. Read more:  http://www.establishmentpost.com/bumpy-one-belt-one-road-project/#ixzz3s4xj6KjY

China might push on with work on South China Sea reefs despite warning from US President Barack Obama

China might press on with land reclamation in the strategically important South China Sea despite US President Barack Obama’s warning last week that the work would affect peaceful resolution of maritime disputes in the area, Chinese military sources and observers say. In talks with President Xi Jinping on Friday, Obama said he had “candid” discussions on Asia-Pacific disputes, voicing concerns about Chinese militarisation of artificial islands in the waters where China has competing territorial claims with several Southeast Asian neighbours. Obama said he conveyed US unease over land reclamation and militarisation of the  waters, saying it “makes it harder for countries in the region to resolve disagreements peacefully”. Read more: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1861801/china-might-push-work-south-china-sea-reefs-despite

Obama Should Confront Xi on the South China Sea

It has long been presumed that economic integration can and will mitigate U.S.-China security competition. But to put it bluntly, this does not seem to be happening. So when President Xi Jinping visits Washington next month, it is essential that the U.S. and China use his visit to confront, not tiptoe around, the underlying reasons for this. The central problem in Asia today is the collision between economics and security. In “Economic Asia,” a dynamic group of countries, including China and the United States, trades, invests and increasingly innovates together. This Asia is a prosperous $21 trillion juggernaut and, especially since the 2008 global financial crisis, has become the center of gravity in the world economy.   Read more: http://www.newsweek.com/obama-should-confront-xi-south-china-sea-365342

Obama opposes sailing close to China’s man-made islands

The Sanya, a Type 054A guided-missile frigate, ready for its deployment to the Gulf of Aden. (Photo/Xinhua) President Barack Obama of the United States is at odds with several of his naval commanders because of his opposition to the deployment of warships to disputed waters in the South China Sea, reports the Christian Today. It is traditional policy for the Pentagon to reserve the right to sail or fly by a series of artificial islands built by China to deter Beijing’s determination to demonstrably exercise control over the disputed Spratly island region, which it claims in its entirety. With China’s construction of a 3,000-meter runway on top of reclaimed land on Fiery Cross reef — an area large enough to deploy heavy-duty military equipment and deep enough to make submarine movements difficult to track — Pentagon officials and congressional hawks are demanding the US Navy deploy warships within 12 miles of the artificial islands to make it clear that the US does not support China’s territorial claims.   Read more: http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1101&MainCatID=11&id=20150806000122