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Vietnam defense minister underlines peaceful settlement of maritime disputes in meeting with China counterpart

Monday, April 26, 2021, 11:06 GMT+7
Vietnam defense minister underlines peaceful settlement of maritime disputes in meeting with China counterpart
Senior Lieutenant General Phan Van Giang (L), Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense, and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe review an honor guard before their meeting in Hanoi, April 25, 2021. Photo: Phuoc Dat

Vietnam’s defense minister said the Vietnamese standpoint is to resolve maritime disputes via peaceful means while well controlling differences in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Hanoi on the weekend.

Senior Lieutenant General Phan Van Giang, Vietnamese Minister of National Defense, on Sunday hosted a welcome ceremony for Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Sen. Lt. Gen. Wei Fenghe, who is on an official visit to Vietnam from April 24 to 27.

Both engaged in a meeting following the ceremony, with the participation of their entourages, in Hanoi.

Fenghe’s visit exhibited China’s interest in promoting its friendly relationship with Vietnam, for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation, and development, Sen. Lt. Gen. Giang said at the meeting.

Both sides hailed the defense ties between Vietnam and China, with flexible and effective exchanges maintained despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnam and China should continue implementing the agreements they have signed, especially a joint declaration on the shared vision of their defense ministries for cooperation from now till 2025, the two defense chiefs agreed.

Military dialogue and border exchanges should be on the agenda of cooperation, both said, adding that the two countries need to maintain teleconferences and phone talks when the coronavirus has not been thoroughly controlled.

Senior Lieutenant General Phan Van Giang (R), Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense, shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Hanoi, April 25, 2021. Photo: Phuoc Dat

Senior Lieutenant General Phan Van Giang (R), Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense, shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Hanoi, April 25, 2021. Photo: Phuoc Dat

Sen. Lt. Gen. Giang and his Chinese guest also candidly discussed differences in the relations between Vietnam and China.

Vietnam’s consistent viewpoint is to resolve conflicts by peaceful means on the basis of respect for each other’s proper rights and interests, the Vietnamese defense minister underscored.

International law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea should be the foundation for settling maritime disputes between the two countries, he added.

Both Vietnam and China should control differences over the waterway, avoid complicating the situation, and refrain from threat or use of force, Sen. Lt. Gen. Giang emphasized.

Following their meeting, the defense chiefs witnessed the signature of an MoU on the establishment of a relationship between friendly units in military cooperation between Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense and China’s Ministry of National Defense.

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