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Chinese oil rig 'threat to growth in East Asia': Vietnam PM

Publication Date : 23-05-2014

 

China's action in placing an oil rig in Vietnam's teritorial waters threatened economic growth in East Asia and the Asean region, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said yesterday at a World Economc Forum (WEF) meeting in Manila.

And, he added, the move directly threatened navigation in the East Sea, through which half of the world's cargo was carried.

The PM said East Asia should make moves to maintain its rapid and sustainable growth, adding that it was facing many challenges, despite recent dynamic development.

He said Vietnam had two main driving forces, international integration and internal reform, adding that there were plenty of opportunities for foreign investors to explore.

The Vietnamese leader said peace and stability were crucial for development, including peace, security, safety and maritime freedom in the East Sea region.

He laid special stress on the "serious developments in the East Sea" following China's illegal placement of a drilling rig deep in Vietnam's waters.

He said that the act seriously violated international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

And it directly threatened peace, stability, security and safety of navigation in the East Sea.

Dung said the setting up of the rig also negatively affected regional and global economies.

Vietnam had exercised utmost restraint, showed goodwill and sought all dialogue channels to demand China's immediate withdrawal of its rig and surrounding vessels out of Vietnam's waters, Dung said.

He addedd that China's response was to slander Vietnam and continue using force and intensifying its threats.

Dung said Vietnam was determined to protect its sovereignty and waters by peaceful measures, in accordance with international law.

Regarding recent social disorder caused by "opportunists" during the protests against China's actions, he said the Vietnamese Government promptly prevented and punished them in line with law. The businesses affected by the incidents also received support and resumed operations.

Dung called on Asean countries around the world to keep backing Vietnam in protecting its national sovereignty in accordance with international law.

He said there was a need for the international community to unite to prevent violations of international law.

Themed Leveraging Growth for Equitable Progress, the forum focused on the region's development and sustainable growth.

Many participants expressed concern over complex security and political developments in the region, including disputes in the East Sea and East China Sea.

They held that peace and stability were prerequisite conditions for economic development. They called on parties concerned to solve disputes by peaceful means.

The forum is being attended by 600 regional and global scholars, business executives, government and civil society representatives.

In a discussion within the forum yesterday, Dung stressed the importance of public-private partnerships (PPP) in the forthcoming Asean economic community.

As Asean strengthened its connectivity, it needed to utilise the PPP model, especially in transport, he said, adding that foreign investment from outside the region was also needed.

At a dialogue with WEF business players interested in the Vietnamese market, Dung said he would help them access what he termed "a promising business environment".

He told delegates that Vietnam was speeding up the pace of economic restructuring, shaping new growth models and perfecting its economy market mechanism.

"Vietnam has an abundant young population who can meet diverse needs. Following the realisation of the Asean community and free trade agreements with advanced economies, the country is expected to be a part of a vast network grouping of 55 partners, including 15 G20 members," he added.

Sideline talks

Dung also reached consensus with Philippine Senate President Franklin Drilon on raising a common voice against China's violation of international law by placing its oil rig in Vietnam's waters.

They also agreed to call on Asean as well as the international community to condemn China's illegal act.

Both host and guest agreed that China was conducting more and more actions that infringed international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

They noted that it had used forces to realise its unilateral "nine-dot line" claim, violating sovereignty over the sea and islands of Vietnam and other countries, adding that China's moves were particularly dangerous, seriously threatening peace, maritime security and safety in the East Sea.

Dung also met with Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives, Feliciano J. Belmonte, who confirmed his country's consistent support for Vietnam on the East Sea issue.

Earlier, the Vietnamese PM told WEF Chairman, Professor Klaus Schwab, that Vietnam hoped WEF member nations would continue making active contributions to bring peace, stability, co-operation and prosperous development to the Asia-Pacific region.

The PM said Vietnam was working to better its economic institutions and change its growth model towards building a competitively green economy and social equality.

 

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