China should respect Vietnam’s rights and interests in East Sea: Deputy PM

By Nguyen Tien   September 21, 2019 | 07:23 am PT
China should respect Vietnam’s rights and interests in East Sea: Deputy PM
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam (L) and his Chinese counterpart Han Zheng shake hands in Nanning City, China on September 21, 2019. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Government Portal.
Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam has asked China to refrain from complicating the East Sea situation and respect Vietnam’s legitimate rights and interests.

Dam made the request in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Han Zheng Saturday on the sidelines of the 16th China-ASEAN Trade and Investment Summit (CAEXPO and CABIS) in Nanning City, Guangxi Province. The East Sea is internationally known as the South China Sea. 

He also emphasized the importance that Vietnam gives to developing friendly relations and comprehensive cooperation with China.

Dam said the governments of both countries should support and create favorable conditions for enhancing exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation between their border areas.

He also suggested that China applies measures to reduce Vietnam's trade deficit and address problems in projects involving Chinese enterprises that have attracted adverse public opinion in Vietnam.

The Chinese Deputy Prime Minister affirmed the importance of developing friendly relations and comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam, and expressed his interest in Vietnam's opinions on the issue of trade deficit and export of Vietnamese agricultural products to China, as well as issues related to the deployment of some major projects in Vietnam.

Speaking at CAEXPO and CABIS meetings the same day, Deputy PM Dam said Vietnam is always working with ASEAN and other partners to promote and develop a favorable environment for business, investment and sustainable development on the basis of assuring the legitimate interests of nations under international law, contributing to peace, cooperation and prosperity of the region and the world.

His comments on China’s need to respect Vietnam’s legitimate rights and interests in the East Sea pertained to the latter’s deployment of its oil survey vessel, Haiyang Dizhi 8, in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf.

The Chinese act has violated Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction rights in the East Sea. Vietnam has repeatedly asked China to withdraw its ships and not engage in actions that threaten peace and security in the region.

Haiyang Dizhi 8 and its escort vessels illegally re-entered Vietnamese waters near the Vanguard Bank in the southern part of the South China Sea on August 13. It had earlier left Vietnam’s EEZ and continental shelf on August 7 after trespassing in Vietnamese waters for a month.

China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner and largest source of imports. In the first five months of this year, Vietnam's trade deficit with China was $16.5 billion, according to Vietnam Customs. The figure for 2018 was $24.2 billion.

In the first eight months of the year, China was Vietnam's biggest import market with a turnover of $49.2 billion, accounting for 18.2 percent of all imports, followed by South Korea, ASEAN, Japan and the EU.

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