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Jul 14, 2022 / 17:45

Vietnam demands China to respect its interests in South China Sea

Hanoi asks Beijing to control disagreements without taking actions to worsen disputes.

Vietnam has requested China to respect Hanoi’s rights and legitimate interests in the South China Sea (referred to as the East Sea in Vietnamese) in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

 Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) and China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Nanning on July 13. Photo: VGP 

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh made the request at the meeting with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi when they co-chaired the 14th meeting of the Steering Committee for the Vietnam-China Bilateral Cooperation in Nanning City, Guangxi, China.

Minh emphasized that the two countries need to make efforts to control disagreements without taking action to complicate the situation or worsen disputes.

The two sides agreed to closely follow the consensus reached by the two countries' top leaders on maintaining peace and stability at sea, including the Agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues.

In addition, they vow to substantively discuss sea-related issues; speed up a new agreement on fishing in the Gulf of Tonkin, and soon sign an agreement on search and rescue at sea and an agreement on setting up a hotline on the fishing-related emergencies at sea.

Regarding the land borders, they agreed to jointly manage the shared land border and solve issues on the basis of the Vietnam-China Treaty on Land Border.

At the meeting, the two sides inked some agreements, including that on Economic and Technical Cooperation on the provision of grants between the two governments for the fiscal year 2020; Protocol on phytosanitary requirements for durian exports from Vietnam; and a project on Comparative Research on Geological Environment and Marine Geological Hazards in the Red River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta.

China requested to facilitate the clearance of Vietnamese goods

 Goods are exported through the Tan Thanh border gate in the northern mountain province of Lang Son. Photo: Vietnamplus


On this occasion, Minh requested to facilitate customs clearance to facilitate the movement of Vietnamese goods into the neighboring country, which is also the biggest trade partner in Vietnam.

Minh asked the Chinese authorities to continue smoothing the import procedures at border crossings and by railway stations, especially for seasonal fruits, and aquacultural and aquatic products while setting up “green zones” (prioritized checklists) that allow shorter phytosanitation and clearance time; as well as opening market to more fruits from Vietnam.

Vietnam is China’s biggest trade partner in ASEAN and the 6th largest in the world. However, hindrances remain in the bilateral trade relations, namely increasing imbalanced trade, occasional clogs at border gates, and slow opening of the market for Vietnamese farm produce. So far, 11 kinds of fruits are allowed to enter China through official channels. 

In addition, other shortcomings in investment and connection are also reported, including slow disbursement of economic development and non-refundable projects as well as mobility restrictions.

Wang Yi agreed with Vietnam’s request, saying that China acknowledged Vietnam’s concern about facilitating Vietnamese agricultural and aquatic products import, smoothing clearance at border crossings, and upgrading border gates as per request by both sides.

He said China will continue to open the market and cooperate with Vietnam to maintain stable supply chains and deepen cooperation on land and sea transportation while discussing potential cooperation in the digital economy, e-commerce, clean energy, emission reduction, infrastructure connection; resumption of commercial flights between the two countries, and welcoming Vietnamese students returning to China to study.

On this occasion, Minh asked China to expand investment in high-quality projects, with a focus on cross-border e-commerce, finance, transport, agriculture, environment, science-technology, education, tourism, culture, and sports.