Beijing : “China and Vietnam should resolve their dispute over the South China Sea through discussions,” appealed Xi Jinping, the Chinese President after his meeting with Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Vietnamese Prime Minister. Nguyen in turn stated that his government in power since July, would have China on its list of priorities in its foreign policy.
During his 6-day tour of China, the Vietnamese Prime Minister Phuc held discussions with various Chinese leaders over many bilateral issues concerning both nations The Vietnamese Prime Minister met the Chinese President on Tuesday after his meeting with the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. During this meeting the Chinese President- Jinping called for resolving the border disputes between the two countries. Jinping also suggested that China and Vietnam come together to find a solution to the oil exploration issue in the South China sea.
“If China and Vietnam came together for the development of the South China Sea region, the maritime area would be ironed out of challenges.” suggested the Chinese President. Jinping also said, “It is in the interest of both the countries to stay true to the communist leadership and socialist principles.” This bilateral co-operation would prove beneficial to the citizens of both the countries, said the Chinese President expressing trust.
The Vietnamese Prime Minister welcomed the proposal of co-operation given by China. Prime Minister Phuc said that his government was eager to build political credibility and business co-operation and for the purpose was also willing to put aside its differences with China. The boundaries of China and Vietnam are linked with hills and rivers and hence it would be beneficial to both the countries to come together said Phuc. Moreover, Vietnam would always remember China’s contribution towards the independence as well as the development of his country, added Phuc.
In the last two years there have been tensions between the two countries over the South China Sea dispute. Vietnam had accused China of trespassing on its maritime territory in the South China Sea. Vietnam had even prepared to retaliate against this move by China. The previous government of Vietnam had also indicated that it could take up this matter of China’s encroachment in its maritime boundaries with the International Court of Justice like Philippines did.
However, three months ago, in the general elections held in Vietnam, Phuc’s Communist Party of Vietnam came to power. This party is affiliated to the Communist Party of China. Even before coming to power, Phuc had declared that Vietnam would increase its co-operation with the neighbouring countries and that it would try to resolve the South China Sea dispute through talks. However, a week ago, warning all the nations over the South China Sea dispute he said, “No one will win if war ensues in the South China Sea in the near future; in fact it will spell defeat for every single nation.” His statement came before the meet of the south-east Asian countries in the ASEAN summit. It thus becomes evident that the new government of Vietnam is not going to be as aggressive as the previous government was on its stand on China.