Vietnam dismissed as "untruthful" reports carried in Chinese state media that said its prime minister respected China's stance on an arbitration ruling over the South China Sea.
China has refused to recognize last week's ruling by an arbitration court in The Hague, which invalidated its vast claims in the South China Sea. China has claimed its position has support from numerous countries and has responded with fury to western calls for it to abide by the decision.
Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of a summit of Asian and European leaders in Ulanbaatar last week.
The Vietnamese government's news website said on Monday articles by several Chinese outlets, which quoted Phuc as telling Li that Vietnam respected China's stance and was willing to promote bilateral talks, were incorrect.
The reports backed up a statement by China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday, which also quoted Phuc saying Vietnam "respect's China's position" on the arbitration.
Vietnam "declares it refutes untruthful coverage by Chinese media regarding the East Sea issue from the meeting" between Phuc and Li, the government said, using the Vietnamese term for the South China Sea.
Vietnam also called on China to “seriously” implement “agreements and mutual understandings of senior leaders, including the agreement on basic principles guiding settlement of sea issues between Vietnam and China.” The countries must “avoid further complicating the situation,” it said.
Vietnam has said that it welcomed the court delivering a verdict. Analysts say the victory for the Philippines is a favourable outcome for Vietnam, which has its own maritime problems with its giant neighbour China.