MANILA — The Philippines and Vietnam have called on the international community to demand China to end its sea violations and fully comply with international law.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung arrived in the Philippines for a working visit and also attend the ongoing three-day World Economic Forum on East Asia here.
“The two sides are determined to oppose China’s violations and called on countries and the international community to continue strongly condemning China and demanding China to immediately end its violations and fully, strictly observe the international law,” said Dung in a statement following the expanded bilateral meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.
The Vietnamese Prime Minister cited the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
He said China also needs to make efforts for the early achievement of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).
“In particular, China’s illegal placement of the oil rig and deployment of vessels to protect the rig deep into Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, have seriously threatened peace, stability, maritime security and safety, and freedom of navigation in the East Sea,” Dung said.
President Aquino said the two countries agreed to continue cooperation to enable them to better protect their maritime resources, and pursue strategies that will boost growth of their people and the region.
“We face common challenges as maritime nations and as brothers in ASEAN,” he said.
To strengthen their maritime cooperation, President Aquino said the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) will undertake more collaborative activities.
The Chief Executive identified areas such as oil spill preparedness and response, mechanisms for search and rescue cooperation and mechanisms for information exchange, such as the Hotline Communication Mechanisms between the PCG and the VCG, aimed at protecting their marine resources and suppressing illegal activities in the adjacent sea area between the two countries.
Apart from enhancing maritime cooperation, President Aquino said the Philippines and Vietnam also agreed to improve defense capabilities and interoperability in addressing security challenges.
“I believe that continued cooperation with Vietnam, as well as with other members of ASEAN, in defense and security will only contribute to promoting regional stability,” he said.
The Chief Executive said the two countries are looking forward to jointly determining the prerequisites in forging a roadmap towards a strategic partnership.
“The roadmap for bilateral strategic partnership will be submitted to the high-level leaders of the two countries for adoption,” said Vietnamese Prime Minister Dung.
Further, the two countries discussed opportunities available for tourism cooperation, such as cruise tourism development; and ways to strengthen trade and investment.
The Philippines participated in the Cruise Tourism Conference in Vietnam in April of this year.
It invited Vietnam to participate in the Cruise Development Workshop to be held in the Philippines next month.
“I look forward to other innovative collaborations for tourism between our countries, since both our nations view this sector as an important driver for growth not only for our economies, but for ASEAN as a whole,” President Aquino said.
In 2013, Vietnam was the 18th top trading partner of the Philippines, with total bilateral trade amounting to US$ 1.33 billion.
“Our objective now: to attain two-way trade to the tune of US$ 3 billion by 2016,” he further said.