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PM urges peaceful East Sea resolution

Update: November, 23/2015 - 08:47
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attends the East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam

KUALA LUMPUR (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged ASEAN and partner countries to focus their links across education, narrowing the development gap, agriculture, connectivity, sub-regional collaboration and coping with non-traditional security challenges.

In his speech delivered at the East Asia Summit (EAS) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday, the PM also raised the recent complicated developments in the East Sea, especially the massive land reclamation.

He made it clear that Viet Nam continually advocates working with concerned parties to build the East Sea into an area of peace, stability and cooperation for mutual development, settling disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, refraining from the use of force or threat to use force, exercising restraint and avoiding complicating the situation.

Viet Nam supports measures to build trust, ease tension and prevent conflicts, he said, adding that the country asks parties concerned to commit to neither pursuing nor deploying militarisation in the East Sea; seriously, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and working towards a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

East Sea developments

The PM also addressed the 27th ASEAN Summit on Saturday, saying that increasing complications in the East Sea posed one of the most serious security challenges to ASEAN.

He noted that the large-scale reclamation and construction of islands, rocks and other unilateral activities in the East Sea have triggered serious implications, escalated tension, eroded trust, caused deep concerns in the international community, likely led to risks of militarisation and conflicts at sea, and threatened peace and stability in the region.

The guarantee of peace, stability, security, navigation and aviation safety and security in the East Sea is the common interest and responsibility of ASEAN as well as outsiders, he said.

He called on the parties involved to address disputes via peaceful means and international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), avoid using or threatening to use force, and restrain from actions to complicate the situation, while taking measures to build trust, reduce tension and prevent conflicts via ASEAN mechanisms.

He suggested increasing exchanges with China to push the country to implement fully and effectively the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and forge ahead with the adoption of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The complicated developments in the East Sea caught the deep concerns of other ASEAN leaders at the session, who stressed the need to use peaceful measures to handle disputes by international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully implementing DOC and forging ahead the formation of COC. The leaders agreed to bring into full play ASEAN's role in settling the issue.

Historic event

At the session, the PM also highlighted the establishment of the ASEAN Community at the end of this year as an historic event reflecting the common perception and high resolution of the ASEAN member states in increasing connectivity and cooperation to a new height.

It also demonstrates the strong maturity, solidarity, and unity of the bloc after 48 years of development, he said, adding that adoption of the 2025 ASEAN Community Vision and master plans at the summit will facilitate the bloc's broader connectivity.

He called on the ASEAN member countries to continually strengthen solidarity to cope with an array of challenges in and out of the bloc.

He underlined ASEAN priorities to implementing effectively the 2025 ASEAN Community Vision and master plans on separate pillars and promoting the central role of the association in handling peace, security and development challenges in the region.

The ASEAN leaders shared the view that the building of the ASEAN Community is a non-stop process so the bloc needs to continue intensifying its connectivity and bring it to the next level.

Accordingly, they adopted the 2025 ASEAN Community Vision, which provides orientation as well as the foundation and framework for ASEAN's connectivity in the next decade.

PM Dung and other ASEAN leaders witnessed the signing of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) at the end of the plenary session.

PM meets world leaders

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung held meetings with world leaders in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the sidelines of the 27th ASEAN Summit.

In his meeting with US President Barack Obama, PM Dung said Viet Nam wished to strengthen its strategic partnership with the US and urged the US to make more active contributions to maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the region, including the East Sea.

Obama said the countries should work closely together to adopt and effectively implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

On the East Sea issue, the US President said his country supported Viet Nam's stance and called on Viet Nam and ASEAN members to have a common voice and increase co-ordination to settle disputes by peaceful means in line with international law and regional agreements.

The US President also accepted an invitation to visit Viet Nam in the near future.

Meeting his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, the Vietnamese leader said he expected Russia to soon ratify the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement.

They agreed to direct relevant agencies to organise the upcoming meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee and set the agenda for next year, including the acceleration of large-scale projects on nuclear power, oil and gas and automobile assembly.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Medvedev emphasised that in order to peacefully settle disputes, concerned parties should abide by international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

In a conversation with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull, the Vietnamese PM hailed Australia as one of Viet Nam's top trade and investment partners, and requested help as Viet Nam seeks to export farm produce and seafood to Australia.

Turnbull said he hoped more Vietnamese agricultural products would be available in Australia later this year.

Turning to regional and global issues of mutual concern, the two PMs pledged closer ties to effectively realise the Asia-Pacific Leaders' Malaria Alliance. They also stressed the importance of abiding by international law, including UNCLOS, and refraining from the use or threat of force in the East Sea.

In another meeting, PM Dung and Indonesian President Joko Widodo discussed measures to intensify partnerships and dialogues in the fields of politics, diplomacy, trade, investment, national defence-security and maritime co-operation.

The Vietnamese leader asked the Indonesian government to settle issues with Vietnamese fishermen in a humanitarian spirit.

The two leaders stressed the significance of maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea, respecting principles of international law, and fully and effectively realising the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea towards reaching a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Discussing co-operation in labour and fishing with his Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-ocha, the PM called for a Memorandum of Understanding on labour co-operation and support for Vietnamese workers in Thailand.

He suggested the two foreign ministries establish a mechanism to discuss issues related to fishing.

Market economy

PM Dung asked the US to recognise Viet Nam's market economy status while meeting with US Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman on the margins of the ongoing 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Saturday.

He said the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations demonstrated the respect of institutions and benefits of all parties, including Viet Nam and the US, with a view to building mutual trust for deeper co-operation in economics and trade.

The PM said Viet Nam would continue to implement its international integration policy, especially in the economic domain by following commitments to trade agreements with the US and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Froman said the US regarded the freshly-concluded TPP as a key premise to ratchet up economic and trade collaboration between countries in the region. It would provide all necessary technical assistance for Viet Nam to make the best use of opportunities stemming from the deal once it came into effect, he said. — VNS

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