Aug 05, 2019 / 15:49

Vietnam statement on South China Sea “strong” and “frank”

The Hanoitimes - Hanoi called Beijing`s recent moves in the sea "illegal" and "serious violations".

Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh has delivered several statements at the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) on the South China Sea issues which is deemed to be “strong” and “frank”. 
Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh at the 52 AMM. Photo: VGP
Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh at the 52 AMM. Photo: VGP
The statements were made at the AMM-52 held in Bangkok, Thailand on July 31-August 3 in a spirit of cooperation and friendship, receiving support from many countries, according to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung.

Th South China Sea (SCS) issues have caught attention at this year’s AMM following recent developments in the sea, mostly the deployment of the Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 and escorts within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, Dung said in an interview with the Government Portal. 

Many ministers at the bloc’s annual event showed their concerns over the SCS situation and highlighted the importance of maintaining peace, safety, security and free maritime and air navigation in the SCS, demanding related parties to comply with international law, Dung noted. 

Speaking at the launching of the AMM, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh expressed concerns over Chinese infringement upon Vietnamese territorial waters and warned of the regional tensions if China takes next steps which complicate the situation.  

In his statement delivered at the forum, Minh blamed China of “serious violations” and Chinese activities are totally “illegal”. He spoke highly of the bloc’s unity in dealing with activities which are illegal and violate other country's sovereignty and leave the region under threats. 

At a meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the event, Minh called for efforts to solve the issues in a peaceful manner on the basis of international laws, including the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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, according to VnExpress.

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, which is called the East Sea in Vietnam, obviously infringing upon the Vietnam’s territorial waters.