It is a basic principle of Vietnamese policy to not let its relationship with any country affect the interests of a third country, deputy defense minister Nguyen Chi Vinh said in an interview published in the Tuoi Tre newspaper Friday.
Vinh made the statement in response to a question about different opinions on Vietnam's conduct relating to East Sea issues.
People do not have a "systematical look" at Vietnam's diplomatic policies when claiming that Vietnam is trying to involve a third party or making under the counter agreements with another country, the official stressed.
There is independence in Vietnam's diplomatic policies, meaning that the country has relationships with other countries on its own; it doesn't rely on any country and isn't afraid that one relationship will affect another, he said.
As a developing country, obviously Vietnam has a need to set up relations with big countries, Vinh said.
Asked about the agreement on ground rules to resolve sea issues that Vietnam and China signed on October 11 during the visit to China by Communist Party General Secretary Truong Tan Sang, the deputy minister said it marked a success in the countries' relationship.
In terms of defense, it is "a big success," because they have agreed to solve issues using peaceful measures and under international laws, he said.
"We will seek and discuss measures to solve sea issues step by step, on the basis of international laws and the agreement of both parties."
Vinh said "reliability" was a decisive factor in solving East Sea issues.
To build and enforce the reliability, countries need to cooperate and make efforts with practical actions, he said.
Moreover, Vietnam and China also need to strictly follow the commitment to using no force or threatening to use force, Vinh said.
The deputy minister dismissed opinions suggesting the using of force against Vietnam and the Philippines that have been recently published in Chinese media, saying that they are unofficial.
"The official opinion has been shown in the joint announcement between the countries' high-ranking leaders."
Vinh said such aggressive opinions will disappear from newspapers gradually with measures taken by the two Parties and the two governments.
Moreover, as time goes by, when Vietnam and China gain trust in each other and solve the issues, such opinions will not receive any support, and could be criticized by the public, he added.
He said that at the recent meeting of ASEAN ministers, after he informed chiefs of delegations of the basic tenets of the Vietnam-China agreement, they all expressed their high appreciation, saying that Vietnam has been very responsible regarding national and regional affairs.
Vietnam didn't make the agreement only for its own benefit, but out of respect for the Declaration of Conduct in the East Sea and international laws, Vinh said.