|Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesperson Pham Thu Hang. — VNA File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesperson Pham Thu Hang yesterday said the recently signed joint-vision statement on defence relations between the United States and Viet Nam had lifted defence relations to new heights.
Speaking at a regular press briefing yesterday, Hang said the statement benefited both countries, adding that it reflected areas both countries wanted to develop further.
On June 1, Viet Nam and the US signed a statement that includes five areas of co-operation - activities addressing the aftermath of war, policy consultancy, disaster relief and search and rescue, peacekeeping co-operation and maritime security.
Regarding a Vietnamese search-and-rescue vessel that was reportedly threatened and obstructed by a Chinese vessel while passing through the Paracel Islands, Hang said Viet Nam was working to verify this information.
She further asserted that Viet Nam had an undeniable right to the Paracel Islands. She said that sending the search and rescue vessel to the area was completely legal and in accordance with international law and Vietnamese law, and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.
Local media reported that the Vietnamese vessel, SAR 412, from Da Nang Maritime Search and Rescue Co-ordination, was threatened by a Chinese vessel, but still managed to take a sick fisherman ashore. — VNS