Thursday, August 2, 2012

Asean fails to agree over the Spratly dispute

It's frustrating to know that nothing really happened after foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations failed to approve a substantial communique that would, once and for all, resolve the controversy that now hounds the contested territories in the South China Sea.

Consequently, claimant countries like the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia have expressed apprehensions as to the way the Chinese government behaves in so far as China's muscle-flexing in the disputed territories is concerned. What I learned is that Cambodia seemed unwilling to cooperate with what the other Asean members wanted in the first place--to form a European-style economic block by 2015.

The intention was to show China what the Asean block could do to level the playing field in the northeast part of the South China Sea. While the controversy remains unresolved, "intense nationalist feelings around the region" are believed to be making it more difficult for diplomats to settle the matter effectively.

As the controversy heats up, some staunch critics are espousing initiatives to boycott Chinese products all over the world, if only to show how infuriated they are the way the Chinese government behaves in so far as claims to some of the islands in the South China Sea.

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