Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea’

23rd July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the heads of the American and Chinese foreign services commented upon those two countries’ ability to peacefully resolve disputes pertaining to the rather vexatious issue of the South China Sea. In order to provide further information this blogger is compelled to quote directly from the China Daily website, ChinaDaily.com.cn:

BEIJING – China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have the ability and wisdom to settle the South China Sea disputes, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday. Yang, speaking on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum to be held on Saturday on the Indonesian island of Bali, said the Chinese side is committed to maintaining freedom of navigation and security in the area. Clinton said the United States understands that the South China Sea issue is complex and the US side takes no position on the issue. She added that Washington supports measures conducive to the settlement of the disputes, and has no intention of getting involved or making it a problem in China-US relations…China and ASEAN countries recently reached agreement on the guidelines of implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, which lays a foundation for cooperation in the area and demonstrates that China and ASEAN countries can solve the disputes on their own, Yang said…

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to learn more details from this interesting article.

It is certainly heartening to hear news about the maintenance of principles such as those espoused above, hopefully such discussions will result in benefits for not only the United States and China; but all concerned as well. Frequent readers of this blog may have taken note of the fact that there have been many discussions centering upon matters arising in the context of the jurisdictions which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam). Such discussions would seem to have revolved around topics such as the aforementioned South China Sea dispute, a possible single ASEAN visa scheme, as well as issues related to trade in the increasingly economically vibrant region.

In somewhat related news it would appear as though a former Vietnamese Air Force Commander has passed away. In order to provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of The New York Times, NYTimes.com:

Nguyen Cao Ky, the flamboyant former South Vietnamese Air Force commander who served for two years as his country’s wartime leader, then fled to the United States when Saigon fell to the Communists, died Saturday at the age of 80. Mr. Ky died at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he was being treated for a respiratory infection, a nephew, Peter Phan, told The Associated Press. After serving in both the Communist and French colonial armies, he rose through the ranks of South Vietnam’s fledgling air force, then led Vietnam as prime minister from 1965 to 1967 before serving as vice president under his bitter rival, Nguyen Van Thieu…He re-emerged in the news in 2004 when he became the highest-ranking former South Vietnamese official to return to Vietnam, at the invitation of the Communist government. In government, he relished a bad-boy reputation, striking a vivid figure in his purple scarf, thin mustache and cigarette and appearing on occasion with his glamorous wife, both wearing matching black flight suits…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read more about what would appear to have been an interesting personality. Although it has been some time since the conclusion of the conflict in Vietnam, an understanding of the history of said conflict can provide a great deal of historical context and contemporaneous insight about the current situation in both Vietnam as well as Greater Southeast Asia.

For information pertaining to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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9th July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Bankruptcy Courts may soon be hearing cases involving bankruptcy petitions for couples who have entered into a same sex marriage. In order to provide further insight it is prudent to quote directly from the official website of the Reuters News Service, Reuters.com:

The U.S. Justice Department has dropped its opposition to joint bankruptcy petitions filed by same-sex married couples in a victory for supporters of gay marriage. The policy change is the latest setback for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which has come under increasing pressure since the Obama administration said in February that it would no longer defend its constitutionality. Until now, the Justice Department had routinely intervened to stop joint bankruptcy cases filed by same-sex couples. The Department’s position had been that the bankruptcy code only allows joint filings by opposite-sex spouses as defined under the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage. In an unexpected turnabout, the department on Wednesday filed a request to withdraw its appeal in one such case. Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler confirmed the policy change in an e-mail to Reuters on Thursday. “The Department of Justice has informed bankruptcy courts that it will no longer seek dismissal of bankruptcy petitions filed jointly by same-sex debtors who are married under state law,” she wrote…

The administration of this web log encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to read this interesting article by Terry Baynes which was edited by Cynthia Johnston.

Although the main thrust of this blog is not centered upon the discussion of federal bankruptcy issues, this change in policy to recognize those same sex couples married under State law is certainly a victory for advocates of LGBT Equality. Concurrently, it is also a victory for proponents of States’ Rights, a doctrine which holds many of the prerogatives and laws of the States in high regard relative to those of the federal government of the United States of America. Meanwhile, advocates for full LGBT Equality must continue to wait for full legal recognition of equal rights until such time as the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) is either repealed, replaced with legislation similar to the Respect for Marriage Act, or amended in such a way that true equality under the law is granted for the individuals involved while the prerogatives of the sovereign American States are respected. Something perhaps akin to the doctrine of “certainty” enshrined in the provisions of the Respect for Marriage Act noted above.

In an American immigration context, it should be noted that members of the LGBT community cannot be granted the same visa benefits in the same manner as other communities since same sex bi-national couples are not able to obtain travel documents such as the CR-1 visa, the IR-1 visa, or the K-1 visa in the same way as their different-sex counterparts. Therefore until such time as DOMA is repealed this situation is unlikely to change. In the event that legislation such as the Respect for Marriage Act, the Reuniting Families Act, or the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) is enacted by the Congress and signed into law by the President then a same sex bi-national couple may be able to petition for US immigration benefits for their spouse or fiance. As of the time of this writing, such a scenario is not yet feasible.

In news related to China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) it recently came to this blogger’s attention that tensions appear to be subsiding with respect to the various issues surrounding the South China Sea. This assessment is made based upon apparent announcements from the Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario.  To provide more information it is necessary to quote directly from the website of Business World Online, BWorldOnline.com:

BEIJING –FOREIGN AFFAIRS Secretary Albert F. del Rosario on Friday said he and ranking Chinese officials agreed to settle the territorial dispute in the South China Sea through guidelines agreed upon by China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) almost a decade ago.Mr. Del Rosario, who talked to foreign journalists at the St. Regis Hotel near the Philippine embassy, said “yes” when asked if his two-day visit was a success, adding that both side have renewed their commitment to bring stability in the area amid recent tensions. “The two sides reaffirmed their commitments to respect and abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed by China and the ASEAN member countries in 2002,” Mr. del Rosario said, referring to his meeting with Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. “Both ministers agreed to further strengthen the bonds and friendship and cooperation between the two countries and to fully implement the Joint Action Plan,” he added. “Both ministers exchanged views on the maritime disputes and agreed not to let the maritime disputes affect the broader picture of friendship and cooperation between the two countries,” Mr. del Rosario further said…The South China Sea, which hosts the oil-rich Spratly Islands, has been claimed in part or wholly by Brunei Darrusalam, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. In a conference in Manila late this week, foreign policy experts called for a binding agreement among Spratly claimants to resolve conflicting positions…[sic]

This blogger asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this insightful article by Darwin T. Wee.

As can be gathered from the excerpt noted above, there have been many geopolitical facets to the South China Sea dispute, but one notable aspect of this developing situation is that the parties have a seemingly genuine desire to deal with the matter reasonably and and peacefully. Hopefully this attitude will continue and these issues can be resolved to the benefit of all concerned.

At the time of this writing, China continues to show signs of increasing economic and political strength. These developments come amidst news that Malaysia has maintained trade discussions with various African and Islamic nations while simultaneously playing a role within ASEAN. At the same time, circumstances in the so-called BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) have lead many to believe that all of these jurisdiction will show further economic flourish in the future. Vietnam and Taiwan are dealing with rather new issues as they find themselves confronting the rest of the world on somewhat different terms compared to times past. These developments have both positive and negative ramifications for these jurisdictions, but the overall economic and political forecasts for all of these places appears bright.

As the aforementioned dispute appears to be moving toward a resolution it is hoped that further disputes can be handled using some sort of framework which provides efficiency in adjudicating issues while simultaneously operating on terms which all parties concerned can agree upon.

For information related to same sex marriage and the intersection between State and federal law please see: Full Faith and Credit Clause.

For information pertaining to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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