China says has ‘positive’ talks with Vietnam on South China Sea

The leaders of China and Vietnam had “positive” talks about the disputed South China Sea on Thursday with neither side criticising the other, a senior Chinese diplomat said.
Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang (L) and China’s President Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING: The leaders of China and Vietnam had “positive” talks about the disputed South China Sea on Thursday with neither side criticising the other, a senior Chinese diplomat said.

Vietnam is the country most openly at odds with China over the waterway since the Philippines pulled back from confrontation under President Rodrigo Duterte.

Speaking after Chinese President Xi Jinping met Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said the South China Sea had been brought up in their talks.

“It was discussed but the main tone was very positive,” Liu told reporters.

Both agreed to follow their consensus to continue stabilising the situation and to keep pushing talks, as well as continue joint resource exploration in less sensitive areas, like the Gulf of Tonkin, he added.

“I think that talking about the South China Sea this time is really a positive piece of news. Neither side raised any criticisms of each other. There were no voices of that were out of step,” Liu said.

China claims 90 percent of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan lay claim to parts of the route, through which about US$5 trillion of trade passes each year.

Last year, tensions heightened between Beijing and Hanoi after Taiwan and U.S. officials said Beijing had placed surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island, part of the Paracel archipelago which China controls.

Vietnam called China’s actions a serious infringement of its sovereignty over the Paracels.

In 2014, tensions between the two communist countries peaked more dramatically

when China moved an oil rig into disputed waters and protests broke out across Vietnam.

Relations have since gradually improved with a series of high level visits between the two, though the military buildup continues in the region, including China’s building of airstrips on man-made islands in the South China Sea.

In comments in front of reporters, Xi told Quang he hoped to take relations to a new stage to better benefit both peoples.

Xi also praised the leadership of Vietnam for its economic reforms.

“As a comrade and neighbour, we are happy to see this,” Xi said.

Quang is in Beijing to attend a weekend conference on an ambitious scheme proposed by Xi to build a new Silk Road connecting China to Asia, Europe and beyond through massive infrastructure investment.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: Reuters

This entry was posted in Biển Đông (SCS), China - VN Relationship - Quan hệ Việt Trung and tagged , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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