Thursday, September 21, 2017

Vietnam commits to 'peaceful approach' on South China Sea at ASEAN meet

Vietnam has reassured other ASEAN members that it would adopt a peaceful approach to its dispute with China over island territories in the South China Sea. The two countries were engaged in a naval clash earlier in May.

Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen tan Dung (L) sits beside Vice President of Myanmar U Nyan Tun (R) during the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Manila on May 22, 2014. The forum, focusing on the fastest-growing region of the world, needs to look at ways to make growth more equitable and sustainable to bring more people out of poverty while also finding ways to minimise environmental damage brought on by the group. Photo: AFPPrime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen tan Dung (L) sits beside Vice President of Myanmar U Nyan Tun (R) during the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Manila on May 22, 2014. The forum, focusing on the fastest-growing region of the world, needs to look at ways to make growth more equitable and sustainable to bring more people out of poverty while also finding ways to minimise environmental damage brought on by the group. Photo: AFP

“Vietnam said it would approach the territorial dispute peacefully,” said Lieutenant General Wai Lwin, Myanmar Defence Minister, at a press conference following the 8th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw on May 20.

As current chair of ASEAN, Myanmar is leading efforts to resolve the dispute.

“Many countries are involved in the dispute. It is not a new issue, and is a complicated political case,” Lt Gen Wai Lwin added, referring to the unanimous ASEAN position on the dispute issued in a statement on May 11.

After the 11th ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces’ Informal Meeting on March 5, Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said it was imperative for regional stability and security to solve the dispute as soon as possible. In addition to China, the countries bordering the South China Sea are ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Translation by Thiri Min Htun