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Vietnam Raises Maritime Disputes with China Envoy

Two staff members look on as navy ships park at the port, as China announces new military drills around Taiwan, in Keelung, Taiwan May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Ann Wang

Vietnamese President To Lam stressed the importance of managing maritime disputes and respecting each country’s interests during a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Hanoi, Xiong Bo, on Tuesday. The president’s office released a statement highlighting these key points.

China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner. However, the two Communist-ruled neighbours have been engaged in a protracted maritime dispute in the South China Sea. President Lam emphasised the necessity for both nations to respect each other’s legitimate interests. He called for active efforts to find satisfactory solutions in accordance with international law.

Concerns Over Chinese Vessel Presence

Last Thursday, Vietnam‘s foreign ministry expressed deep concern over the presence of a Chinese survey vessel in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. This issue underscores the ongoing tensions between the two countries regarding maritime boundaries and resource exploration.

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Despite these disputes, Lam reiterated that developing friendship and cooperation with China remains a strategic choice and a priority in Vietnam’s foreign policies. He highlighted the need to strengthen railway connectivity and encouraged China to further open its market to Vietnamese agricultural products.

In December, during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Hanoi, Vietnam and China signed numerous cooperation agreements, including those related to railway development. Lam reiterated the importance of these agreements and the potential benefits they could bring to both nations.

With Inputs from Reuters