Kerry seeks to ease S. China Sea tension

Aug 11, 2014News

(BGF) – Secretary of State John Kerry participates in the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum in Myanmar to seek to ease tension in the South China Sea which is raised after China deployed an oil rig in the waters claimed by Vietnam and implemented several aggressive actions against Vietnam marine police. This incident also raised serious question among China’s other small neighbors about its long-term strategy, according to the Boston Globe.
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Kerry seeks to ease S. China Sea tension

August 9, 2014 | By Mathew Lee, AP



(Photo credit: Secretary of State John Kerry. Reuters)

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar — Secretary of State John Kerry is in Myanmar seeking to calm tensions in the South China Sea between China and its smaller neighbors.

Amid concerns about recent provocative steps taken by China and others regarding several disputed territories in the sea, Kerry arrived in Myanmar early Saturday for a Southeast Asian regional security forum. The conflicting claims are expected to be high on the agenda.

US officials with Kerry said he would be urging the Chinese and others to take voluntary steps to ease the mounting discord, while they continue to work on a binding code of conduct for activity around disputed areas.

The United States and others fear that an escalation in tension could hamper international shipping and lead to conflict. Washington has said for years that maintaining calm in the South China Sea is a US national security interest, to the annoyance of China.

The United States is calling for a freeze on actions that change the status quo, such as seizing unoccupied islands and land reclamation.

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