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“Stop interference”- China to Vietnam
June 19, 2014, 9:23 am

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (L) meets with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Vietnam's capital Hanoi on June 18, 2014 [Xinhua]

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (L) meets with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi on June 18, 2014 [Xinhua]

Chinese state councillor with responsibility for foreign policy, Yang Jiechi has held talks with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi, state media reported.

Yang, who holds a post senior to that of foreign minister, was sent to Vietnam as Chinese President’s Xi Jinping’s envoy to try and diplomatically resolve the current impasse.

Yang said China-Vietnam ties are undergoing “a difficult time”.

“China and Vietnam relations are experiencing a difficult period. On this trip, as appointed by our CPC Central Committee, I am to discuss candidly and thoroughly our relations with Mr. Pham Binh Minh and current issues in the South China Sea,” Yang said.

Yang, during his two-day visit will also meet with the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and other high-ranking officials including Vietnamese General Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong.

“In addition to other issues, Yang Jiechi plans to discuss current tensions between the countries in the South China Sea. China has repeatedly called for the Vietnamese side to look at the big picture, and move with China in the same direction to deal with it properly,” said Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying during a media briefing on Yang’s Vietnam trip.

Hua said China’s top diplomat has asked Hanoi to “stop its interference and harassment, stop hyping up the issue and stop whipping up disagreement to create new disputes”.

Yang’s visit marks the highest-level meeting between the two governments since maritime disputes in the South China Sea began.

Beijing has accused Vietnam of launching numerous attempts to disrupt China’s oil drilling operation in the South China Sea since early May.

Wang Min, a Chinese envoy told a United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) held in New York last week, that Vietnamese armed vessels illegally and forcefully disruptied the Chinese oil drilling operations in the disputed site for over 1,400 times so far.

“What Vietnam did seriously infringed upon China’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction, grossly violated relevant international laws, including the UNCLOS, undermined the freedom and safety of navigation in the related waters, and damaged regional peace and stability,” said Wang.

Meanwhile, the US is considering lifting a ban on the sale and transfer of lethal weapons to Vietnam, says an Associated Press report on Wednesday.

Beijing is wary of the US strategic “pivot” to Asia, asserting it is part of efforts to contain China’s rising power.

 

TBP and Agencies

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