Vietnam calls on China to sort out East Sea dispute

By Anh Ngoc   June 8, 2021 | 07:47 pm PT
Vietnam calls on China to sort out East Sea dispute
Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meet in Chongqing, China, June 8, 2021. Photo courtesy of Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Foreign minister Bui Thanh Son called for "a basic and long-term solution" to the East Sea issue during talks with his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday.

The meeting between Son and Wang Yi took place in Chongqing City, China, on the sidelines of the ASEAN-China Special Foreign Ministers Meeting and the 6th Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The dispute in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea, was one of the issues on the agenda, and Son suggested the two sides should fully comply with international laws, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and hold talks to seek a solution to it.

The two sides agreed to maintain peace and stability, and coordinate with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to soon achieve a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international laws, including UNCLOS.

They also agreed to foster bilateral relations by strengthening exchanges at all levels, cooperating in the fight against Covid-19, and coordinating at multilateral forums, especially the U.N.

Son wanted Beijing to create favorable conditions for Vietnam to export agricultural products and food to China, especially fruits.

Wang said China wishes to work with Vietnam to strengthen strategic exchanges and political trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and promote bilateral relations to ensure they continue to develop healthily.

He promised China’s support for Vietnam in disease prevention, including in vaccine research and production, and expressed the willingness to increase imports of Vietnamese goods.

The East Sea is also on the agenda at the ASEAN-China Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

At the 19th ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (SOM-DOC) on Monday, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung said though maintaining peace, stability and security in the East Sea is in the mutual interest of ASEAN and China, unilateral actions continue in violation of the legal rights and interests of the East Sea’s littoral countries.

He called on all parties to scrupulously, and in good faith, implement the DOC and existing commitments, comply with international laws and the United Nations Charter and UNCLOS, creating a favorable environment for negotiations and building a substantive and effective COC in accordance with international law.

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