Vietnam has asked other countries involved in East Sea sovereignty disputes to not use force against Vietnamese fishermen, Vietnam News Agency reported.
Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, deputy defense minister, asked the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials' Meeting Plus (ADSOM+) in Brunei on Thursday that all East Sea disputes be settled via peaceful talks.
As a nation with a long coastline along the East Sea, Vinh said Vietnam takes seriously its responsibility to peace and stability in the East Sea.
Vinh said that Vietnam pledged to settle disputes through peaceful talks in accordance with international and regional treaties, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), ASEAN's six-point principles on the East Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in East Sea (DOC), and would strive to finish the Code of Conduct. He asked that other countries do the same.
"Vietnam is and will do its utmost to ensure international maritime freedom, safety and security in the territorial waters and continental shelves under its control," Vinh said.
The ADSOM+ conference was attended by deputy defense ministers from 10 ASEAN countries and eight partners China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, the US, India, Australia and New Zealand.
The conference focused on talks on regional defense-security situation and heard reports from five working groups on humanitarian aid and disaster relief, maritime security, military medicine, counter-terrorism and peace keeping in 2011-2013.
Delegates spoke highly of the results of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM+) cooperation since its establishment in Hanoi in 2010 and wished that the cooperation process would continue to develop in the time to come.
They voiced support for Vietnam's new initiative on establishing a group of experts to overcome the consequences of unexploded ordnance (UXOs) and other aftereffects of war within the ADMM+ framework.
On the sidelines of the conference, Vinh had bilateral meetings with his counterparts from China, the US, South Korea, Singapore and Brunei.