Last update 7/20/2011 2:04:00 PM (GMT+7)

East Sea disputes to be discussed at ASEAN naval commanders’ meetings

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam will bring up China’s harassment and its groundless U-shape line claims in the East Sea at the fifth meeting of naval commanders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) or ANCM-5.

Vietnam will solve issues by its own strength, says Admiral Pham Ngoc Minh (left)
Speaking to the media on the afternoon of July 18, Admiral Pham Ngoc Minh, Deputy Commander of the Vietnamese Navy, said that the naval commanders of nine ASEAN countries and the Lao defense attaché in Vietnam will attend the ANCM-5 in Hanoi. The meeting will not have guests.

Minh said that recently complicated developments in the East Sea, for example the Binh Minh 02 and Viking II (Chinese ships cut cables of Vietnamese seismic survey ships in Vietnam’s continental shelf) cases as well as China’s U-shape line claims will be brought up.

“Vietnam is the home country and in its report to the meeting, Vietnam will put forward China’s cable cutting cases and its U-shape claims,” Minh said.

According to Minh, not only Vietnam but some ASEAN claimants in the East Sea are worried about China’s U-shape line. The common viewpoint is solving the disputes through peaceful negotiation, based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the SEA 1982 (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between ASEAN and China in 2002. Vietnam will seek the agreement of ASEAN for the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

“Vietnam’s goal is maintaining sovereignty, the sovereign right, the jurisdiction and the peaceful and stable environment. Vietnam cooperates with other countries on the stand of independence, not making military alliances and not relying on any country to solve our issues,” the Admiral said.

He said the Vietnamese navy and the navies of other ASEAN countries have cooperated in sharing information, combating pirate and smuggling, performing rescue exercises, etc.

The Vietnamese navy has set up telephone lines with the naval forces of Thailand and Cambodia, as well as implemented joint patrol for more than 20 times with these countries. Vietnam has also had a telephone line with the Philippines and is promoting joint patrol with Malaysia and Indonesia. It is scheduled to sign with Malaysia and Indonesia on joint patrol this year’s end.

The ANCM-5 is one of the three important meetings in ASEAN military cooperation, besides the meetings of leaders of ASEAN air-forces and land forces, to promote actual cooperation among the ASEAN armies to cope with emerging security challenges in the region.

With the theme “ASEAN naval cooperation for marine peace and security”, the ANCM-5 will focus on two issues: security situation in the region, the role and cooperative methods of ASEAN navies to cope with challenges and discussing two initiatives of Vietnam, including orientation for naval cooperation and exchange of young naval officers among ASEAN countries.

The meeting will be held in Hanoi from July 26 to 29. On this occasion, ASEAN delegations will pay a visit to some naval units of Vietnam. Vietnam will also conduct bilateral meetings with some delegations.