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Việt Nam, China hold talks on East Sea dispute, defence

Update: March, 27/2016 - 23:00
Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng receives Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan in Hà Nội on March27. — VNA/VNS Photo Trí Dũng

HÀ NỘI (VNS) — Việt Nam wants to co-operate with China to sustain peace and stability in the East Sea on the basis of respecting mutual interests and abiding by international law, Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng said on March 27 in a meeting with Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan in Hà Nội.

Chang has been on a three-day visit to Việt Nam, which ends on March28.

General Secretary Trọng also suggested that the neighbouring nations continue organising high-level meetings and carrying out defence co-operation mechanisms - like the Defence Policy Dialogue and joint patrols on the Tonkin Gulf and along the borders - in order to further strengthen bilateral ties.

Chang said China highly values its relationship and comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership with Việt Nam, and that the Chinese army would co-operate with the Vietnamese army to peacefully and stably promote the bilateral relationship. On the same day, Minister of National Defence General Phùng Quang Thanh and his Chinese counterpart, Chang Wanquan, candidly discussed the sea dispute that has affected relations between Việt Nam and China.

The two ministers stressed that the two sides will continue to handle the issue through peaceful and friendly dialogues on the basis of regulations and mechanisms defined by international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They agreed the two sides will exert all efforts to seek fundamental and long-term solutions acceptable to both sides, abide by agreements reached by the two countries’ high-ranking leaders, strictly observe the principles and spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and work towards a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The two defence ministers agreed that the two armies should exercise restraint, keep control of the situation, avoid conflicts and avoid threats to use force.

The two sides also vowed to strengthen their bilateral affiliation in a pragmatic, effective, stable and sustainable fashion, thus making defence co-operation one of the pillars of the traditional solidarity and friendship between the two countries.

Minister Phùng Quang Thanh emphasised that Minister Chang’s visit was an opportune time for the two defence ministries to discuss relevant issues in realising the duties of the two countries’ leaders, as well as to implement the bilateral agreement on defence collaboration towards enhancing political trust and promoting defence ties between the two countries.

On this occasion, the two ministers witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on co-operation between the two defence ministries in the field of UN peace-keeping missions. — VNS


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