Vietnam denies accusations of withdrawal from East Sea agreement

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Vietnam had denied claims made in the foreign media that it has withdrawn from the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) by recently agreeing with China on ground rules to resolve sea issues.

At the foreign ministry's periodical press briefing Thursday, spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said the contents of the agreement signed by Vietnam and China on October 11 are totally in line with the DOC as well as Vietnam's consistent viewpoint on resolving disputes in the East Sea, Tuoi Tre reported Friday.

That means the disputes that are related to the two countries only will be solved bilaterally, while those concerned many countries will be discussed and solved multilaterally, Nghi stressed.

Meanwhile, those problems that are regional or global will have to have suitable multilateral approaches, the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"Therefore, it is baseless to claim that the agreement is a withdrawal from the DOC," Nghi said.

According to Nghi, the signing of the agreement is of great importance and a positive step forward in the countries' negotiations to solve sea issues, Vietnamnet said in a report.

It has identified ground rules directing the solution of the East Sea disputes with peaceful measures, international laws and related parties' benefits, the newswire quoted him as saying.

Asked about the new draft of Vietnam's Sea Law, Nghi said it would be necessary and normal to establish laws that regulate all sea-related economic, social and defense activities.

He added that it is also in accordance with international convention and meets the country's development demands, according to the Vietnamnet report.


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Also at the press briefing, the spokesman announced that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his wife will visit Japan on October 30-September 11 at the invitation of Japan PM Yoshihiko Noda in a bid to deepen the countries' strategic partnership.

Before that, Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh will also visit Japan on October 23-23, according to Nghi.

In the meantime, President Truong Tan Sang will visit the Philippines on October 26-28 to improve the countries' friendship and cooperation in various fields, he said, adding that this year is the 35th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.

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