PM Phuc meets with Chinese Premier on sidelines of ASEM Summit in Mongolia.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc reaffirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy towards China regarding the East Sea in his meeting on July 14 with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the ASEM Summit in Mongolia.
“Vietnam consistently pursues a foreign policy of peace, independence, self-reliance, diversification and multi-lateralization, and intensive international integration, while attaching importance to developing friendly neighborly relations and comprehensive cooperation with China,” he told Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
PM Phuc suggested the two governments direct agencies to effectively implement the results of the ninth session of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee on Bilateral Cooperation, maintain regular exchanges of delegations to intensify political trust and mutual understanding, and boost practical cooperation, according to the government’s news portal.
He also called on China to increase imports of suitable Vietnamese goods, like agro-forestry-fishery products, and welcomed Chinese investors of sound capacity to take part in projects that meet Vietnam’s sustainable development requirements.
Regarding the East Sea issue, PM Phuc suggested both sides strictly follow the common perceptions and agreements reached by their senior leaders, including the agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues.
“The two countries should speed up negotiations on sea-related issues, while controlling disputes at sea, avoiding complicating the situation, implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) comprehensively and effectively, and quickly sign a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in order to maintain peace and stability in the region,” PM Phuc said.
Chinese Premier Li confirmed that China attaches importance to consolidating and developing its neighborly relations and all-round cooperation with Vietnam, the government’s news portal quoted him as saying.
“China is willing to develop strategic dialogue with Vietnam, boost win-win cooperation across sectors, follow common perceptions on sea issues, and control and address disputes properly so as to develop the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a stable and sustainable manner,” Premier Li said.
The two met in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator for the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting on July 16, shortly after The Hague-based Arbitral Tribunal’s ruling on the East Sea case between the Philippines and China was issued on July 12.
The Arbitral Tribunal announced that that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within its “nine-dash line” in the East Sea (South China Sea).
“Although Chinese navigators and fishermen, as well as those of other States, had historically made use of the islands in the South China Sea, there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or their resources,” the tribunal said in its 497-page ruling. “The Tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’.”
China’s claims overlap those of four ASEAN states - the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei - as well as Taiwan, in the potentially resource-rich East Sea. The sea is also a vital waterway through which some $5 trillion of shipping traffic passes each year.
Vietnam welcomed the ruling, saying it supports the peaceful resolution of disputes while reasserting its own sovereignty claims, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
“Vietnam strongly supports the resolution of disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means, including diplomatic and legal processes and refraining from the use of or the threat to use force, in accordance with international law,” MoFA spokesperson Le Hai Binh said in a press release.