Vietnam urges China to well control maritime conflicts at Bien Dong Sea

Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh urged China to better manage the maritime differences and resolve issues instead of complicating and expanding disputes. 
July 22, 2020 | 06:32
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The 12th meeting of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation via teleconference on July 21, co-hosted by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Tuesday was held yesterday seeing territorial issues on land and at sea brought to the table, according to Vnexpress.

The two sides discussed the situation in the East Sea (or Bien Dong Sea), known internationally as the South China Sea, during the past time and their differences in this issue.

According to VGP, Deputy PM, FM Minh expressed Vietnam's concerns over the recent complicated developments in the East Sea. He urged the sides to well control maritime differences, take no actions that may further complicate the situation or expand disputes, respect for Vietnam’s legitimate rights and interests, and maintain peace and stability in the East Sea.

Both sides agreed to stick to the common perceptions reached by their leaders as well as the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues signed between the two countries, and comply with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

vietnam asks china to control conflicts at sea
Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh co-chairs the 12th meeting of the Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation on July 21, 2020 . Photo: VGP

The sides also agreed to accelerate mechanisms on sea-related matters to achieve practical outcomes, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and foster talks on a substantial Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The two sides also discussed trade exchange, Minh suggested China further facilitate border trade exchanges and import more Vietnamese goods, particularly farm produce.

He also encouraged Chinese businesses to boost investment in high-tech and environmentally friendly projects while focusing on addressing obstacles of some projects being implemented in Vietnam.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic impacts, the two-way trade between Vietnam and China grew by 4.5 percent in the first half of this year.

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

China has taken a series of provocative actions in the waters since the start of this year as countries around the world were 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 (Hoang Sa) 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.

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