Aug 02, 2019 / 11:55

Vietnam demands China stop complicating South China Sea situation

The Hanoitimes - The Vietnamese foreign minister once again demands China to end activities that add tensions to the sea.

Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh stated Vietnam’s stance of properly managing differences and taking no actions that may complicate the situation in the South China Sea (SCS) in talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday [August 1].
Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. Photo: VNA
Beijing should not conduct any activities that would complicate the situation in the sea, Minh told Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Vietnam and China need to maintain peace, stability, manage the difference, and should solve all disputes with peaceful measures on the basis of international laws, including the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), said Minh, who is also a deputy prime minister.

Wang said China values its relationship with Vietnam and strives to maintain the two countries’ amicable relationship, while agreeing to exchange opinions and reasonably resolve issues in the relationship, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

This is not the first time Minh mentioned the issue at the regional forum. At the launching of the 52nd AMM on July 31, he blamed China for illegally deployed its survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf over the past month.

Since early July, Chinese oil survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 and its escorts have been operating near Vietnams Bai Tu Chinh (Vanguard Bank) in the south of the SCS, obviously infringing upon the Vietnam’s territorial waters.

The 52nd AMM, which marks the attendance of foreign ministers from the US, China, Japan, and China, has highlighted the role of solidarity in solving regional issues and stressed the importance of maritime cooperation.

Speaking at the event, Minh spoke highly of the bloc’s unity in dealing with activities that leaves the region under threats.

In his statement delivered at the forum, Minh blamed China of “serious violations” and called Chinese activities totally “illegal.”

In talks between the Vietnamese foreign minister with counterparts from the EU, India, Australia, South Korea, Canada, and Norway at the 52nd AMM, the officials all shared their concerns over the escalating tensions in the SCS in which China claims up to 90%.