Vietnam asks China to control conflicts at sea

By Anh Ngoc   July 21, 2020 | 10:09 pm GMT+7
Vietnam asks China to control conflicts at sea
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh speaks at an online meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, July 21, 2020. Photo by The World and Vietnam Report.

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has said Vietnam and China should work together to resolve issues instead of complicating and expanding disputes.

At the 12th meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation co-chaired by Minh and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Tuesday, territorial issues on land and at sea were brought to the table.

The two sides discussed the situation in the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, especially their different stances on the issue.

Deputy PM Minh expressed concerns over recent complicated developments in the sea, suggesting that both countries exert efforts to control well their disagreements without taking any action to complicate the situation or expand the dispute, respect the legitimate rights and interests of Vietnam, and maintain peace and stability in the East Sea.

The two sides agreed to adhere to agreements on the basic principles that guide the settlement of Vietnam-China maritime issues, comply with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and at the same time, promote negotiating mechanisms on maritime issues to achieve substantive results.

China has taken a series of provocative actions in the waters since the start of this year as the world focused on battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

It formed the so-called ‘Xisha’ and ‘Nansha’ districts in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands, sank Vietnamese fishing vessels off the Paracels, unilaterally issued a fishing ban and sent a ship to harass a Malaysian oil and gas exploration vessel.

It also announced a vegetable farming project on Woody (Phu Lam) Island in the Paracels to strengthen its illegal sovereignty claim, and sent two diplomatic notes to the U.N. to make the infamous Four Sha claim, which covers a broader swath of territory than the notorious, illegal nine-dash line.

The foreign ministers talked about trade relations between the two nations including achievements in the pandemic fight.

They noted that the situation on land borders, including border gates and landmarks, was basically stable and well under control, facilitating economic activities even during the time of Covid-19.

They agreed to strengthen coordination on border management and protection and abide strictly by legal documents on land borders and related agreements, which include provisions on illegal penetration and immigrants.

The two sides also agreed to develop good exchanges and cooperation mechanisms in defense, security, law enforcement, and to share experiences and implement cooperation on prevention of Covid-19 infections, resuming commercial flights and facilitating the flow of people and goods.

Despite the pandemic impacts, two-way trade between Vietnam and China grew 4.5 percent in the first half of this year.

China was Vietnam’s third biggest foreign investor in terms of registered capital in the first six months, after Singapore and Thailand.

 
 
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