Vietnam, Britain say China's reclamation threatens peace, stability

By Truong Son, Thanh Nien News

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (L) and his British counterpart David Cameron during a welcome ceremony on July 29, 2015. Photo credit: Vietnam News Agency
China's large-scaled construction, expansion and changing of the status quo of reefs in the East Sea have threatened peace, stability and safety and freedom of navigation in the region, the premiers of Vietnam and Britain agreed Wednesday.
PM Nguyen Tan Dung and his British counterpart David Cameron, who's in Hanoi on a landmark two-day visit to the country, underlined the importance of peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea, also known as South China Sea.
They reiterated their commitment to maintaining a rules-based order in the maritime domain based on the principles of international law, in particular as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
They reaffirmed the importance of respecting and fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed in 2002 and the early conclusion of the regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).
During bilateral talks, the two PMs welcomed the progress that had been made in all areas of the bilateral relationship since the signing of the Strategic Partnership in 2010 and recognized the great potential for broader cooperation that lay ahead.
They affirmed that economic cooperation would continue to be a priority for both sides and welcomed the progress in negotiations on the EU Vietnam Free Trade Agreement which should provide a major boost to trade and investment between Vietnam and the UK. They underlined their shared vision of an ambitious and comprehensive agreement which would fully address both tariff and market access issues.
They underlined the importance of education and training cooperation in the bilateral relationship. Both PMs welcomed the UK’s support for the full education offer in Vietnam, from English language training, through vocational training to include training for the top leadership of the Vietnamese government.
They noted that effective running of the proposed Vietnam-UK Institute for Research and Executive Education is fundamental to the success of the Vietnam-UK University project in Da Nang.
The two PMs noted the positive development of the bilateral security and defense cooperation. Both Prime Ministers noted the continued, strong cooperation between UK and Vietnamese law enforcement agencies, resulting in good operational results and joint focus on international priorities such as the WeProtect Summit in London in December 2014.
During his visit, Cameron also called on Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong and State President Truong Tan Sang.
The visit took place on the fifth year anniversary of the establishment of the bilateral Strategic Partnership. It was the first official visit of a serving British Prime Minister to Vietnam. 

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