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US backs restraint for peaceful end to East Sea tensions

Update: June, 12/2014 - 08:47
The US representative confirmed US support for ASEAN's viewpoint, expressed in a statement by ASEAN Foreign Ministers on May 10.
HA NOI (VNS) — The United States told the 27th ASEAN-US dialogue in Yangon, Myanmar, on Tuesday that it opposed unilateral actions that used force to impose territorial sovereignty.

Referring to the complex developments in the East Sea involving a Chinese oil rig, the US said that it strongly backed solving disputes by peaceful means and restraint without the use of force or threats, in line with international law.

A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh took part in the meeting.

The event was an opportunity for an exchange of views on regional issues and a review of co-operation between ASEAN and the US. Preparations for the ASEAN-US Ministers' Meeting in August were also discussed and the second ASEAN-US Summit later this year.

The US representative confirmed US support for ASEAN's viewpoint, expressed in a statement by ASEAN Foreign Ministers on May 10.

This expressed deep concern about escalating tensions that were directly affecting peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the region.

In particular, the US referred to the importance of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

It said ASEAN and China needed practical negotiations to reach a more binding Code of Conduct on the East Sea (COC).

Deputy Foreign Minister Vinh spoke highly of the ASEAN-US partnership and US support for ASEAN in building its community.

He said this enhanced connectivity and promoted the partnership's central role in the region.

On the East Sea issue, Vinh said China's placement of the oil rig on Viet Nam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, as well as its continuous provocative and aggressive acts, had seriously violated international law, the 1982 UNCLOS and the DOC.

Regarding ASEAN-US co-operation, the two sides spoke of continued development of the partnership in fields ranging from politics and security to economic and socio-culture.

The US said that its relations with ASEAN was one of its priorities in the region. It added that it would support ASEAN's central role in the evolving regional architecture.

ASEAN members encouraged the US to increase support for ASEAN's community building and step up economic, scientific and technological and educational co-operation, especially granting scholarships for ASEAN students.

It was agreed that the two sides should boost collaboration on handling diseases, energy security, disaster management and climate change. — VNS

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