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Vietnam Today

Vietnam reiterates stance on East Sea with China

Released at: 13:37, 31/08/2016

Vietnam reiterates stance on East Sea with China

Photo: VNA

Minister of Defense meets Chinese counterpart for talks as part of official visit to Vietnam's neighbor.

by Ha Nguyen

Vietnam’s consistent stance on the East Sea issue remains that it and China should observe common perceptions reached by high-ranking leaders and resolve disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, especially UNCLOS 1982.

Both sides need to follow the Vietnam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related matters and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and work to reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) as soon as possible, Minister of National Defense General Ngo Xuan Lich reiterated during talks with his Chinese counterpart on August 30.

The two should take no action that complicates and expands the dispute and in particular not use or threaten to use force, and maintain peace and stability in the East Sea, General Lich was quoted as saying by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

General Lich has been in China for an official three-day visit from August 28, which is his first to the neighboring country since taking up the post, where he met and spoke with Senior Lieutenant General Chang Wanquan.

The two said they cherish the fruitful development of the relationship between the two armies, with strategic dialogue, exchanges of delegation, border guard cooperation, joint maritime patrols, the sharing of experience in joining UN peace-keeping operations, and especially the Vietnam-China Border Defense Friendship Exchange Program.

They emphasized their resolve to successfully organize the fourth program slated for April 2017, expand border guard cooperation, maintain the exchange of high-level meetings, implement strategic defense dialogue at the deputy defense minister level, and increase exchanges between the two countries’ young officers, VNA reported.

General Lich also highlighted with his counterpart that Vietnam’s defense policy is self-defense, not allowing other countries to set up military bases on its territory and not using or threatening to use force to address disputes, affecting the stability and security of the entire region.

Regarding future foreign policy, Vietnam prioritizes relations with countries sharing its borders, General Lich said, noting that the Vietnamese Party, State and army aim to build solidarity, friendship, mutual trust and a stable, long-term and comprehensive relationship with China.

For his part, Senior Lieutenant General Chang Wanquan stressed that China always attaches importance to time-honored relations with Vietnam and wishes to resolve disputes satisfactorily so as to protect peace and stability in the East Sea.

The two ministers also witnessed the signing of an MoU on cooperation between the Vietnamese Institute for Military Strategy and China’s Academy of Military Science.

General Lich also paid courtesy calls on senior leaders of the Communist Party of China, the government, and the Chinese Central Military Commission, visited several units of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and met Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao.

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