Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh calls US counterpart over East Sea issue

(VOVworld) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh held a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss bilateral issues and the East Sea situation.

Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh calls US counterpart over East Sea issue - ảnh 1

Minh acknowledged progress in bilateral ties in recent years, particularly in economics, trade and investment. He announced Vietnam’s decision to join the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and said that Vietnam was ready to cooperate with the US to deploy specific measures to improve bilateral relations in the spirit of the comprehensive partnership between the two countries. Minh briefed his US counterpart on recent developments concerning China’s unilateral placement of oil rig Haiyang 981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. He said that China’s increase in the number of its escort ships had escalated tensions in the area. He added that Vietnam had exercised restraint, insisted on dialogue, and firmly demanded China withdraw its rig and ships from the region. He said Vietnam considered China’s actions a violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction, which threatens maritime stability and security and runs counter to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

John Kerry praised Vietnam joining the PSI, considering it an important step towards showing the country’s commitment to fighting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and increasing global trade safety and peace in the Asia-Pacific region. With regard to the East Sea situation, Kerry appreciated Vietnam’s restraint and good will, using peaceful measures and dialogue to deescalate tensions. He expressed his deep concern about recent developments in the East Sea and described China’s unilateral placement of an oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone a provocative act, which increased tension in the region. John Kerry reiterated the US policy of settling East Sea issues peacefully in line with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.