China’s visit to Vietnam amid sea rows, did they agreed to disagree

China and Vietnam’s top diplomat have met June 18 to tackle bilateral cooperation specifically the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 that was placed by Beijing in East Vietnam Sea last May.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi had a meeting with Vietnamese Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh.

According to China’s foreign ministry, “Yang Jiechi stressed [in the meeting] that the Xisha Islands are China’s inherent territory. There is nothing disputable about that. Operations by the Chinese company in the coastal waters off the Xisha Islands are a natural continuation of the exploration and drilling activities that have been going on for a decade in the same waters. The operations are completely lawful, legitimate and reasonable. China will take all necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and ensure the safe and smooth running of relevant operations.”

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On the other hand, Vietnam also stand firm on their position. General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam stressed the seriousness and negative impacts of China’s oilrig Haiyang Shiyou-981 placed in Vietnam’s waters. He made clear that Vietnam’s position on its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands and the East Sea is unchanged and unchangeable.

Both sides agreed to stabilize the situation; for Vietnam based on international law, and for China through bilateral talks.

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