The Hanoitimes - Vietnamese Ambassador to China Dang Minh Khoi told Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television that Vietnam’s activities on islands and rocks under its management in the East Sea are completely normal.
On the basis of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), Vietnam is ready to promote negotiations to finalise a Code of Conduct in the waters (COC), Khoi confirmed.
He made the remark in an interview on January 18 in which he was asked about the information that Vietnam is stepping up land reclamation activities on some islands in the East Sea. He clarified that Vietnam has not increased or reduced activities on its islands, those activities are still the same as before.
Some opinions that Vietnam is taking over the role of the Philippines are just personal viewpoints and not in line with Vietnam’s stance or the reality, Khoi noted. There haven’t been any countries voicing concern that the activities on islands and rocks conducted by Vietnam would cause any factors of instability.
Vietnam’s stance regarding the East Sea issue is consistent, and it does not intend to replace the role of the Philippines in the East Sea issue, he stressed. He underlined the talks between Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping earlier this month in Beijing. The two leaders discussed the East Sea issue and reach a common perception.
In the joint communiqué, they said both sides are well aware of existing disagreements, adding that however, how to control disagreements and the situation and not to let them affect relations between the two Parties and countries is an important task.
The Ambassador said since 2014, Vietnam and China have held annual negotiations on the demarcation of the waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf, but this problem cannot be solved overnight. He told Phoenix TV that the two sides need to conduct negotiations with adherence to international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and bilateral and multilateral agreements they reached to settle the issues.
By Tuan Minh