Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivers a speech at the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Photo: Vietnam News Agency
The Vietnam News Agency on July 18 refuted untruthful coverage by the Chinese press regarding the East Sea issue, which was discussed at a meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Ulan Bator, Mongolia on July 14.
Following the meeting, a number of Chinese official media outlets, including Xinhua, the English-language Chinadaily.com and the Chinese-language version of the People’s Daily quoted PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc as saying that “Vietnam respects China’s stance on the South China Sea arbitration case, which was unilaterally initiated by the Philippines, and maintains that such disputes should be solved peacefully through negotiations.” He was also quoted as saying “Vietnam stands ready to push forward bilateral maritime negotiations and properly manage differences with China, in order to contribute to regional peace and stability.” In fact, PM Phuc asked both sides to seriously implement agreements by senior leaders, including the agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of issues at sea between Vietnam and China signed by Party Secretary General Nguyễn Phú Trọng and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, in October 2011.
He said the agreement is meant to promote mechanisms of negotiating sea-related issues, manage differences at sea, avoid further complicating the situation, and fully and effectively realise the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, as well as to reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea soon, contributing to maintaining peace and stability in the region.
The Vietnamese PM also reaffirmed Vietnam’s stance on the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on July 12, 2016 in The Hague, on the Philippines’ lawsuit against China in the East Sea issue.
Earlier on July 12, Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Le Hai Binh said Vietnam welcomed the arbitration tribunal’s final ruling.
“Vietnam once again reiterates its consistent stance on this lawsuit as it was fully shown in the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Declaration on December 5, 2014, sent to the arbitration tribunal,” he noted.
“In that spirit, Vietnam strongly supports settling disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures, including diplomatic and legal processes, without the use or threat to use force, as in line with regulations of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, maintaining peace and stability in the region, security, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight over the East Sea, and respecting the law-abiding principle in seas and oceans,” Binh said.
“On this occasion, Vietnam once again affirms its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, the sovereignty over internal waters and territorial waters, the sovereign right and jurisdiction over Việt Nam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as defined in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“Việt Nam upholds all of its legitimate rights and interests regarding the geographical structures belonging to Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes,” stated the spokesperson.