Vietnam agrees talks are key to disputes

Updated: 2016-07-15 01:27

By ZHAO HUANXIN in Ulaanbaatar and LI XIAOKUN in Beijing(China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Vietnam agrees talks are key to disputes

A Mongolian girl presents flowers to Premier Li Keqiang in Ulaanbaatar on Thursday as Mongolian Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat looks on. Li, who is in Mongolia for the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting summit, also met on Thursday with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.Ma Zhancheng/Xinhua

Vietnam respects China's stance on the South China Sea arbitration case, which was unilaterally initiated by the Philippines, and maintains that such disputes should be solved peacefully through negotiations, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on Thursday night.

During a meeting with Premier Li Keqiang in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, Phuc also said Vietnam stands ready to push forward bilateral maritime negotiations and properly manage differences with China, in order to contribute to regional peace and stability.

Li called on Vietnam to jointly safeguard peace and stability with China in the South China Sea.

The meeting was held at the hotel where Li and his delegation are staying on the eve of the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting summit.

Phuc said the common interests of Vietnam and China far override their disparities, and Vietnam ranks its ties with China as a top priority in its foreign relations. He added that Vietnam is willing to maintain high-level exchanges with China and enhance cooperation in various fields.

Li also met with Laotian Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis on Thursday.

They also will attend the ASEM summit, scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Ulaanbaatar.

Li reiterated Beijing's stance on the South China Sea, saying the issue should be resolved through bilateral negotiations by relevant parties on the basis of historical facts and in accordance with international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

Li said China has been very clear on its stance of not recognizing or accepting the ruling issued by the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague on Tuesday.

The Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea has helped maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea for more than a decade, Li said.

Xu Liping, a senior research fellow with the National Institute of International Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the meeting of Li and Phuc, which came at the peak of tensions in the South China Sea, has sent an important signal to the outside.

"It shows that China and Vietnam, two countries that also have overlapping claims in the South China Sea, have the political will to solve the issue,"said Xu.

"That means there is a strong political foundation between the two nations to solve the issue through a bilateral and peaceful way. The situation in the South China Sea is in control, unlike what is described by foreign media.”

Pan Jin'e, an expert on Vietnamese studies with the academy, said that besides the discussion on the South China Sea, the meeting was important because it was the first between the two leaders after Vietnam's key Party conference elected the new leadership.

"The new Vietnam prime minister's remarks can be seen as a promise that the previous framework of bilateral cooperation, including that on maritime negotiation, will go on under the new administration."

Contact the writers at zhao-