Territorial Issues Remain in Asia as Leaders Hope for Unity

October 5, 2012

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

1. territorial (adj.) 
[ter-i-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] – describing an area or region of land or sea that belongs to a specific person or group of persons
Example: Foreign fishing boats are not allowed on the country’s territorial waters.

2. claim (n.) [kleym] – the right of ownership on something
Example: He wants his wife and son to have claim on his property when he passes away.

3. dispute (n.) [dih-spyoot] – an argument
Example: The singer and the company are in a dispute over who owns the copyright to the song.

4. code of conduct (n.) [kohd] [uhv] [[kon-duhkt] – a set of rules or principles that must be followed by a certain group of people
Example: The new employees were informed about the company’s code of conduct.

5. coercion (n.) [koh-ur-shuh n] – the act of forcing someone to do something
Example: A good leader does not need to use coercion for people to follow him.

Read the text below.

Despite calls for unity in the recently held Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Russia, territorial issues between Asian countries continue.

The countries with territorial claims in the South China Sea include Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines and China. Japan, South Korea and China are also involved in their own territorial disputes.

Rory Medcalf of the International Security Program at Australia's Lowy Institute said that the big worry about these disputes is that conflicts between China and neighboring countries could become even worse.

Before the APEC, Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State, suggested that Southeast Asian countries should start making a unified code of conduct with China to resolve their disagreements. She emphasized that these problems should not be solved through coercion, threat or force.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa agreed that countries need to have more diplomatic talks.

However, in the previous ASEAN meeting in July, the leaders failed to agree on a code of conduct. At the APEC forum, countries were able to successfully agree on several trade and environmental plans. But leaders of countries involved in disputes only talked briefly and did not hold formal discussions on territorial problems.

Meanwhile, China has warned outside forces, particularly the US, not to involve themselves in South China Sea disputes. According to Clinton, the US only hopes to see China contribute positively to Asia’s navigation and sea trade issues.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think a code of conduct will resolve territorial issues between countries? Why or why not?
·         Why is it important for countries to solve their problems peacefully?

Discussion B

·         Are you familiar with the territorial dispute between Japan and China? What do you think of it?
·         How do you think it can be solved?


October 5, 2012