China, Vietnam affirm desire to resolve problems

-A A +A

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

HANOI, Vietnam — China and Vietnam, caught up in an increasingly bitter confrontation over disputed waters, have a common desire to solve their tensions, a top Chinese diplomat said Wednesday.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi is the most senior Chinese diplomat to visit Vietnam since China's deployment of a giant oil rig off the Vietnamese coast last month increased tensions between the neighbors.

Yang Jiechi told Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, who is also foreign minister, that the countries are experiencing a "difficult" relationship and that promoting bilateral relations is a goal of the Communist neighbors.

"It can be said that developing China-Vietnam relations is the common desire of the two parties, two governments, two states and two peoples of China and Vietnam," Yang told Minh through a translator.

"Currently, the China-Vietnam relationship is experiencing difficulties and I came to Vietnam this time at the order of our (Communist Party) Central Committee to have frank, broad and deep discussions with Comrade Pham Binh Minh."

Vietnam China.jpg
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, left, shakes hands with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh before their talks behind closed-door on the tension in the South China Sea in Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday June 18, 2014. Yang's visit is the highest-level direct dialogue bewteen the two countries since tension flared following Chinese placement of an oil rig off Vietnam's coast in early May. (AP Photo)

Minh told Yang that the meeting, the highest direct contact since the May standoff, shows a commitment to resolving the dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

"Our meeting ... demonstrates that the two parties and states of Vietnam and China have the desire for dialogue to settle the current complicated situation in the East Sea," Minh said, referring to the South China Sea.

China and Vietnam accuse each other of ramming ships near the oil installation.

Vietnam said the use of the oil rig violates its sovereignty and has demanded that China withdraw it, while China says Vietnam should stop harassing with its normal oil drilling activity.

China's placement of the oil rig in early May triggered anti-China demonstrations in many parts of Vietnam and some turned to riots which resulted in the deaths of five Chinese nationals and injures to hundreds more. Rioters targeted factories believed to be Chinese owned. Hundreds of factories were damaged and dozens were burnt. Many of them were built with Taiwanese investment.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said last month that Vietnam was considering legal action against the Chinese move.

The two ideological allies fought a brief but bloody border war in 1979, and skirmishes also occurred in 1988 when China used force to occupy the Johnson South reef in the Spratlys. Relations were normalized in 1991.

China claims most of the West Philippine Sea, rich in natural resources and one of the world's busiest sea lanes, bringing it into disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan. (AP)

DISCLAIMER: Sun.Star website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessary reflect the views of the Sun.Star management and its affiliates. Sun.Star reserves the right to delete, reproduce or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.

Forum rules: Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent and respectful. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!