China Promises Peace at South China Sea

June 21, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. dispute (n.) [dih-spyoot] – a misunderstanding or disagreement
Example: The dispute over money caused problems in the company.

2. minister (n.) [min-uh-ster] – a person chosen by a government to be the head of a specific department
Example: The Minister of Education started projects for public schools.
3. stake out a claim (idiom) [steyk] [out] [uh] [kleym] – to say that you own something
Example: I found this pen so I’m staking out a claim on it.

4. surveillance (n.) [ser-vey-luhns] – a watch or observation of something or someone
Example: To prevent robbers from stealing, surveillance cameras are attached all over the building.

5. impending (adj.) [im-pen-ding] – about to happen, usually something that is threatening or dangerous
Example: The black clouds signal an impending storm.

Read the text below.

China promised its neighbouring countries that they will maintain peace and order in the South China Sea region where a strong dispute over its oil remains a threat.

China’s Defense Minister Liang Guanglie  said that even though their economy and military power are strong, they will not attempt to threaten nearby countries—namely, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia—which are all staking out a claim on an area in the South China Sea mainly for its rich oil deposits.

Recently, Vietnam reported an incident in which the surveillance cables of their ship used for searching oil deposits were cut. Another similar incident happened to a Philippine vessel. The said vessel was confronted by Chinese ships during an exploration. Philippine President Benigno Aquino fears that the disputes between countries might ‘spur a regional arms race’.

Likewise, the US government worries about the impending danger caused by the misunderstanding between the countries involved. In 2010, Senator Hillary Clinton said that the problem in South China Sea is a matter that concerns the US government as well.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages if the South China Sea remains to be unclaimed?
·       Among the countries staking out a claim on the said area, which country or countries do you think should have it?

Discussion B

·         What is the reason why countries should have strong military power?
·         Do you think it is right for countries to build their military strength? Why?

June 21, 2011