Vietnamese PM hails G7 statement on East Sea

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) shakes hands with British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond in Hanoi on April 12, 2016. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) shakes hands with British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond in Hanoi on April 12, 2016. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre

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Newly-elected Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc praised foreign ministers from the G7 countries for their strong opposition to provocation in the East Sea while receiving British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Hanoi on Tuesday, local media reported.
Hammond is on a two-day visit to Vietnam to boost trade and investment.
Phuc was referring to a statement by G7 foreign ministers on Monday after they met in the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The ministers said they opposed "any intimidating coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions" in the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea. 
He asked the UK government to push the EU to have a stronger voice in requesting China to respect international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to settle any disputes peacefully without the use of force or the threat to use force, and to end any actions to change the status quo of the South China Sea.
China must immediately stop the reclamation and construction of artificial islands and militarization in the South China Sea, while implementing earnestly and fully the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the Sea (DOC) and forge ahead with negotiations to build a Code of Conduct in the Sea (COC), he said.
Hammond reiterated the statement of G7 foreign ministers and stressed the support for ASEAN to build a Code of Conduct to ensure navigation and aviation freedom.
He said he hoped claimants of the South China Sea can peacefully resolve any disputes in line with international law.

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