• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 2:01pm

Vietnam, Philippines 'hijacking' Asean to press South China Sea claims

Think tank argues Beijing's regional rivals are 'hijacking' the bloc to press South China Sea claims with US involvement adding to pressure

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 June, 2014, 5:07am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 June, 2014, 9:09am

The Philippines and Vietnam are "hijacking" the regional bloc Asean to enlist support for their rival claims in the South China Sea, stirring up trouble for China with its neighbours, according to a book published by a government think tank in Beijing.

The series of reports by the China Institute of International Studies also said countries outside the region such as the United States were making it easier for Hanoi and Manila to exploit Asean and create division and uncertainty.

The book examining China's relations with its neighbours comes as Beijing has become increasingly embroiled in territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas.

A Vietnamese ship was severely damaged in a collision with a Chinese boat in the South China Sea on Sunday, the latest in a series of clashes since China set up an oil rig off the disputed Paracel Islands last month. Tensions over the oil rig caused anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam last month.

Several countries in the region have territorial claims in the South China Sea, including China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.

The think tank studies said some claimants wanted disputes to be dealt with by Asean, forcing the regional bloc to take sides.

Huang Guifang, a former Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, said Vietnam and the government in Manila were trying to isolate China in Asean, but Beijing could counter their influence.

"After all, Asean nations will have to consider their national interests rather than just following those two nations," he said.

The involvement of the US in the South China Sea dispute only complicates the situation and will also make it easier for nations such as Vietnam and the Philippines to hijack the regional bloc and create divisions, another report in the book said.

"At the same time, external forces are stepping up efforts to lure Asean to contain fast-developing China, creating uncertainties in China-Asean relations," it said.

The United States has strongly criticised China's actions in the South China Sea. US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said at a security forum that Beijing was destabilising the region by aggressively pushing its territorial claims.

The Philippines is pressing its claims in the South China Sea at an international tribunal.

On relations with Japan, the reports said the "provocation" by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in visiting the Yasukuni Shrine that honours war criminals last December had damaged Sino-Japanese ties.

China has been stepping up its engagement with its neighbouring countries since last year, upgrading its ties with Malaysia to a comprehensive strategic partnership.



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This article is now closed to comments

Not sure Philippines and Vietnam need to do anything to isolate China in ASEAN. Seems the Chinese are doing a pretty decent job of that on their own.
Jonathan Smith
Apart from extorting money from the other members of ASEAN is there anything good that Vietnam can do? It's really a pity that China was stupid enough to support North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. China should have allowed South Vietnam to conquer North Vietnam.
This newspaper is becoming Beijing's mouthpiece. But I guess it already has been for a long time!
A Matsui
Even without the South China Sea issues, Vietnam's role in ASEAN have been based on the blackmail and the extortion of the other ASEAN members, especially the richer and smaller ones like Brunei, for "financial aid" which have been going on for a very long time, much to the disgust of the other members of ASEAN. It will be better for ASEAN for Vietnam to be booted out.
Thank goodness China paid off the Cambodians to neutralize any ASEAN-sponsored attempt to cause China to deal with her neighbors like they too are sovereign nations. No one bribes like the Communist Chinese.
I disagree. They are reporting the news, both sides of it. That is what they should do. Just because Beijing says something does not make it not worthy of consideration. We, as the people of HK, need to give each argument the weight we think is appropriate. That is what makes us different from those across the border. They don't have a choice, they are told what they can think as other thought is not permitted.
This reads like China Daily.
I hope you Teddy Ng and other chinese out there do more research before write up another article otherwise world people will laugh at you chinese so-called writer or journalist. China is the one that hijacked peace and security in the region, you just cannot go around and poaching endanger turtles and fishes in Philippines territorial waters and illegally placing an oil rig in Vietnam territorial waters.
I agree with you John. This is not reporting; what a shame!
Teddy Ng and other Chinese like him out there just create (report) the news as they see it for there own agenda and purpose: china's mouthpiece.
The report sounded like a China government comments and directive.
What country would be crazy enough challenging and having simultaneously dispute with multitude of other nations: India, Japan, Philippine, Vietnam, and Malaysia? Answer: China!
What are you thinking? Your greed are much bigger than your brain. No wonder why other nations are ganging up on you in the late 19th century and its about to happen again. Thanks to your outrageous territorial claims and disregard to International norms and orders. See you in hxll!
What make you think Vietnam really need ASEAN? Malaysia, Cambodia, and Burma are protecting their own pockets for years and never help Vietnam anyway, I think its time for Vietnam, Philippines, Japan, and America to tightening the nose around china's neck.



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