|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (first right) and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi (second left) co-chaired a meeting of the two countries' Steering Committee for Bilateral Co-operation in Ha Noi yesterday.— VNA/VNS Photo Thong Nhat
HA NOI (VNS)— Vietnamese leaders yesterday reiterated their desire for strong relations with China while calling for the removal of the illegally placed oil rig from the nation's waters, saying the act has negatively impacted bilateral ties.
Receiving visiting Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi in Ha Noi yesterday, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong emphasised that Viet Nam's standpoint on its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes is unchanged and unchangeable.
He also said the Party, State and people of Viet Nam have and will pursue a consistent policy of treasuring its friendship and co-operation with China.
Viet Nam wishes to preserve, consolidate and continuously develop bilateral relations in a healthy and stable manner for the essential and long-term interests of both peoples, Trong said, and expressed appreciation of positive developments in the relationship with China in recent years.
He also stressed the seriousness and negative impacts of China's placement of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Viet Nam's waters since early May on the Vietnamese people, bilateral relations and the regional situation.
The Party chief suggested the two sides urgently seek measures to stabilise the situation, creating a premise for basic and long-term solutions to sea-related issues on the basis of agreements reached by their leaders of both nations and international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Yang said that the Chinese Party and Government attached special importance to developing a good, stable, long-term relationship with Viet Nam.
He expressed hope that the two sides would continue discussing ways of easing tensions and solving sea-related issues. He also agreed on the need to continue exchanges and co-operation between the two nations in various fields.
PM affirms VN stance
The Chinese State Councillor also met with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday.
Dung noted that during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Viet Nam last year, the two sides had reached a number of specific agreements to further co-operation, including the formation of three working groups on infrastructure, finance and monetary matters.
Referring to China's placement of its drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Viet Nam's waters, Dung reiterated Viet Nam's consistent stance maintained in bilateral communications at different levels.
Dung made it clear that China's actions threatened peace, stability, security and safety of navigation and aviation in the region, while causing indignation and hurting the sentiments of Vietnamese people. This would have negative impacts on co-operation between the two Parties and countries, he said.
He asked China to withdraw its rig and ships from Vietnamese waters and join talks for the settlement of disputes and differences between the two countries by peaceful measures in accordance with international law and the common perception of the countries' leaders.
At the same time, the two sides should control the situation to prevent conflict, maintain contact and talks to solve ongoing disputes, Dung said.
Viet Nam would resolutely struggle to defend its sovereignty by peaceful measures in line with international law, he stressed.
Responding to the Chinese State Councillor's remarks on the security and safety of Chinese businesses and citizens, PM Dung said in a number of Vietnamese localities, some people had taken advantage of rallies protesting China's illegal placement of its oil rig in Viet Nam's waters to break the law, causing damage to some foreign-invested enterprises including Chinese-invested businesses.
The PM said the incidents were regrettable and undesirable, adding that the Vietnamese Government had promptly put an end to the violations, stabilised the situation, punished the violators and taken timely measures to support the affected businesses.
All affected enterprises had resumed normal production and business activities, he said.
Dung said the two sides needed to maintain co-operation mechanisms and hold the seventh session of the steering committee on bilateral co-operation. He said the meeting should discuss ways to promote co-operation between the two countries, especially in economics, trade, investment and tourism.
State Councillor Yang Jiechi informed PM Dung about the outcome of his talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. He said the Party, Government and people of China has never changed the motto of friendship in relations with Viet Nam.
Yang Jiechi also presented China's stance on the sea dispute and agreed that the two sides continue to maintain contact and discuss ways to resolve tensions.
Earlier yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi yesterday met with each other in their capacities as chairs of the Steering Committee for Bilateral Co-operation.
At the meeting, Minh said that the Party, State, Government and people of Viet Nam placed great importance on maintaining and strengthening neighbourly friendship and comprehensive co-operation with China.
He said in past years, the comprehensive, strategic partnership between the two nations had developed in both scale and depth following efforts by both sides.
Like other Vietnamese leaders, he also said that China's placement of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 deep in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Viet Nam had violated international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS-1982).
Minh said the move also threatened navigational security and safety as well as peace and stability in the region, not to mention hurt Vietnamese sentiments.
He asserted Viet Nam 's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago as well as its sovereign right and jurisdiction over the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as defined under UNCLOS-1982, to which both Viet Nam and China are signatories.
The Deputy PM requested that China move its rig and escort ships out of Vietnamese waters, prevent conflicts and hold talks on the resolving tensions as well as other differences between the two countries in accordance with international laws.
Yang Jiechi responded that the Party, Government and people of China also attached importance to developing friendship with Viet Nam.
He agreed that the two sides should work to stabilise the situation at sea, restrain themselves and prevent conflicts as also bilateral ties from worsening.
At the same time, they should also make joint efforts to promote bilateral co-operation for greater and more substantial development, he said.
Yang Jiechi also repeated China's stand on the East Sea.
The two sides affirmed their intention to maintain mechanisms for exchanges and co-operation between ministries, sectors and localities of both nations in tandem with implementing an action plan on strengthening their comprehensive, strategic and co-operative partnership.
They also discussed issues related to organising the seventh session of the Viet Nam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Co-operation. — VNS