VietNamNet Bridge – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ho Xuan Son has affirmed Viet Nam's stance on the East Sea, stressing that the nation advocated maintaining peace and stability in the area.
The following questions and answers were from the interview:
As the Special Envoy for Viet Nam's leaders, you met Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo in Beijing on June 25 to convey the Vietnamese leaders' viewpoints on bilateral relations and the East Sea situation during the recent past to the Chinese leaders. What was the message sent by Viet Nam's leaders?
Information on the visit has been provided by the press. The content of the message focuses on the three following main points:
To affirm that Viet Nam always attaches importance to the comprehensive strategic co-operation partnership with China. Viet Nam will exert itself to join China in promoting the two countries' friendship more practically and efficiently for the benefits of both countries' peoples, for peace, stability, co-operation in the region and the world.
To express concern about the recent incidents in the East Sea and affirm Viet Nam's stance on the East Sea issue, stressing the country advocates maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea and asking concerned parties to seriously implement the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea " – and solve disputes and issues by peaceful measures on the basis of international laws, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
To demand both to seriously implement agreements of the two countries' senior leaders, not to take actions to make the situation more complicated and not to let the East Sea issues affect the two countries' relations.
To make concrete proposals to promote the two countries' relationship, such as maintaining high-level contacts and organising the fifth session of the Steering Committee on Viet Nam-China co-operation in Ha Noi.
What are common perceptions of the two countries' leaders on peacefully solving differences on the sea through friendly talks?
The common perceptions of senior leaders are acknowledged in Viet Nam-China joint statements issued during visits by senior leaders. The latest was released in October, 2008, to mark a visit to China by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Accordingly, the two sides affirmed their interests in maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea, seriously abiding by the common perception of senior leaders and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, maintaining the mechanism of talks on issues on the sea and following principles and legal systems defined by international laws, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to seek long-term solutions that the two sides may accept.
During that period, the two sides make joint efforts to maintain stability in the East Sea without taking actions that make the situation more complicated or expand disputes.
The two sides agreed on the "easy first, difficult second" principle to boost co-operation in the fields of oceanography research, environmental protection, hydro-meteorological forecast, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, sea rescue and search, exchanges of visits by naval ships and building mechanism on direct exchange of information between armies of the two countries.
Please reveal the progress of negotiations on the "Agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea issues between Viet Nam and China."
As you know, after completing works on the demarcation of the land border in late December 2008, Viet Nam and China agreed to shift the focus of territorial border negotiations to sea issues.
The two sides agreed that before solving practical issues, it is necessary to negotiate to sign the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea issues. These are major and important orientations that the two sides need to observe.
In that spirit, between early 2010 and now, Viet Nam and China have held six working-level rounds of negotiations. The two sides exchanged views on some basic principles such as common perception of the two countries' high-level leaders; international laws, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea; issues relating to Viet Nam and China only are solved bilaterally and issues relating to other sides are discussed by related sides.
The seventh round of negotiations will be held in Ha Noi.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News