US to stay neutral in East Sea conflicts: Vietnam minister

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The US said at an Asia-Pacific summit that it will stay neutral in East Sea conflicts, while China said it won't dictate and dominate, the VIetnamese defense minister told the press Tuesday.


Both the countries and participants at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Asia-Pacific security concerns in Singapore on June 4-6 agreed that a peaceful and stable environment must be maintained for the East Sea, Minister Phung Quang Thanh  was quoted as saying by local news website Vietnamnet.


The consensus of ASEAN countries and eight others is that if army conflicts take place in the East Sea, many countries in the region and further afield will be affected, according to Thanh.


Solutions like peaceful negotiation and international laws will be involved to settle the conflicts, so outsiders can't make use of the East Sea conflicts to divide Vietnam and China, he said on the sidelines of the National Assembly's meeting that day.


A proposal of extended cooperation regarding national defense and military between ten ASEAN countries and eight other countries China, US, Russia, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand was also put forward at the summit, Thanh added.


Asked about his meeting with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Thanh said they talked about bilateral cooperation, including handling post-war situations and sea rescues.

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