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Special Review on S. China Sea ep.6: 'Dual-track approach' for South China Sea issue

CCTV.com

07-02-2016 18:02 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

The “dual-track approach” is the right path to solve the South China Sea issue. That’s a highly touted idea by the Chinese government. One track is that China will resolve differences with other countries through peaceful dialogues. The other track is that China and the Asean countries will protect the peace and stability in the south China sea together.

Avery Goldstein
Director, Center for the Study of Contemporary China, Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

Who owns this territory? That can only be solved through the parties negotiating.

Catherine West
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the British Labour Part

We need to resolve something very locally and have a grown-up approach to dialogue.

Masood Khalid
Ambassador of Pakistan

And this policy of, you know, there are issues or disputes in South China Sea which need to be addressed by the sovereign states which are directly concerned through negotiations and peaceful means.

Interview Masood Khalid
Ambassador of Pakistan

Which (China) advocates peaceful neighborhood. And this policy of, you know, there are issues or disputes in South China Sea which need to be addressed by the sovereign states which are directly concerned through negotiations and peaceful means. I think this is a good policy and only through this effort and this endeavor, we can maintain peace and stability in the region. So I think this approach of, you know, negotiations and bilateral communication to settle whatever issue exists is the right approach.

Interview Joe Natuman
Deputy Prime Minister of Vanuatu

South China Sea is an issue which everyone is concerned about. But our position of Vanuatu is that parties involved should settle the problem by diplomatic negotiation, bilateral negotiations. So it’s really up to the parties concerned to sort the way out through diplomatic negotiations.

Interview Professor Zheng Yongnian
Director, East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore

But I think actually, China has a wonderful example, for example, before, China and Vietnam has successfully solved the border dispute issue. China also solved the Beibu Gulf issue with Vietnam. That time also, China was big, Vietnam was small. The two countries successfully solved their issue. Actually, China can apply the same principle to South China Sea issue. I believe personally, as I understand, when China and Vietnam sat down to solve their issue, territorial dispute, actually no international law of sea apply, right. Even border issue, there is no such international law to solve border issue. But the two countries were successful in settle down the issue, right. It’s a very good case, right. Why we cannot apply the same principle to the South China Sea issue?

Interview Catherine West
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the British Labour Part

I think talks are crucial. And that’s where we have to be careful that yes, we need to resolve something very locally and have a grown-up approach to dialogue.

We’ve seen what’s happening in the Middle East, for example, and many of us are anxious about that and the huge influx of people coming out of that region. We just need to look at Middle East to understand how hard it is once we go down a particular route to get back to normal life, to education, to proper services, let alone business or the economy, because once we live in a non-peaceful environment, then everything starts to change. That’s not where we want to be.

Interview Avery Goldstein

Director, Center for the Study of Contemporary China, Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

I think in principle, that’s the right solution, in the sense that the problem cannot be sovereignty questions, who owns this territory. That can only be solved through the parties negotiating.

Interview Xu Liping

Deputy director, Center for Southeast Asia studies, CASS

Personally, I think a dual-track thinking pattern is a realistic but also rational choice for China and ASEAN to solve the South China Sea disputes. It’s important in the dual-track thinking pattern that the peace and stability in the South China Sea is not guaranteed by China and the United States, nor by China and Japan, but by China and ASEAN. On the other hand, (the disputes concerning the South China Sea islands) need negotiation with countries in ASEAN through bilateral channels. Why do we say that? Because island and reef disputes involving sovereignty and parties concerned. Other party’s participation could make the issue become more complicated.

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