PH, Vietnam boost ties amid China row
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Vietnam are pushing for stronger action against China’s continued “violation of the international laws” in the disputed waters in Southeast Asia.
The two countries, seeking to strengthen ties amid increasing tension in the region caused by a territorial dispute with China, consider Beijing’s provocative actions as a threat to regional peace and security.
“With regard to the situation in the East Sea, the President [Benigno Aquino III] and I shared the deep concerns over the current extremely dangerous situation caused by China’s many actions that violate the international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and seriously infringe on the waters across our countries,” Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in a press conference in Malacañang.
He said China’s illegal placement of the oil rig and deployment of Chinese vessels into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone have seriously threatened peace, stability, maritime security and safety, and freedom of navigation in the East Sea.
Dung urged the international community to oppose China’s violations and called on other countries to demand China to fully and strictly observe the international law.
Aquino, meanwhile, expressed support and commitment to support moves to stop China’s continued intrusion in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
“If an injustice is done to one, is it not true that it sets the stage for injustice done to all? Therefore, is it not our task, as leaders of Asean, to continue to find ways to strengthen our relations and build the mechanisms that will ensure fairness and justice throughout our region?” he said.
The two leaders also expressed support to increase both countries defense and maritime cooperation as they faced similar same maritime issues.
“I believe continued cooperation between the Philippines and Vietnam will enable us to better protect our maritime resources, as we pursue strategies that will redound to the growth of our respective peoples and of our region,” Aquino said.
Aquino said he discussed with Dung enhanced defense capabilities and interoperability in addressing security challenges.
Dung is in the Philippines to attend the World Economic Forum.