Wang Yi speaks with Vietnamese FM, vowing won't let Ukraine-like tragedy happen in the region
Published: Apr 15, 2022 06:12 PM
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a press conference on China's foreign policy and foreign relations via video link on the sidelines of the fifth session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 7, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Xin)

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi talked with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son on Thursday on the phone, stressing that China and Vietnam, two socialist countries, are ready to strengthen solidarity and will not let a tragedy like Ukraine's happen in the region.

The two sides also expressed the willingness to further push for progress in maritime delimitation in the sea area outside the mouth of the Beibu Bay and joint development in the South China Sea, which experts said shows the strong partnership between the pair, and their broad consensus on the regional security to counter US' destabilizing efforts of sowing discord. 

Wang said facing the challenges of COVID-19 and the Ukraine crisis, China and Vietnam, which are close neighbors pursuing the same path of socialism, should give full play to the political strengths of the two parties and countries, and carry forward the friendly tradition featuring comradeship and brotherhood. 

Wang said China will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccines and anti-pandemic supplies to Vietnam, at the same time, hoping that the two sides will launch more cross-border railway services, promote connections with the western New International Land-Sea Corridor, and build a smoother "green lane" for the export of high-quality Vietnamese agricultural products to China.

2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). 

Wang expressed willingness to reach an early agreement on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), which Vietnam can play a constructive role, so as to provide a more solid guarantee for the long-term peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Bui Thanh Son told Wang that Vietnam has always regarded its relations with China as the top priority of its foreign policy, and is ready to make joint efforts with China to implement the DOC, reach a substantive and effective COC at an early date. He said Vietnam hopes that consultations of the three maritime working groups of the two sides will make substantive progress, giving priority to advancing maritime delimitation in the sea area outside the mouth of the Beibu Bay.

Both China and Vietnam are well aware that they are neighbors that cannot be moved away from each other. So the differences on the boundary issue need to be well managed so as to develop common interests and ensure mutual security, Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Friday.

Both China and Vietnam are socialist countries so the cooperation between the two sides has a solid foundation, Li said, adding that the two sides are also partners in maintaining regional order and stability, as well as economic complementarities and reciprocity.  

After the two ministers exchanged views on the Ukraine issue, which has made Asian countries realize that maintaining peace is precious and indulging in bloc confrontation will lead to endless risks, Wang Yi warned the risk of regional tension and antagonism with the US' pushing of the "Indo-Pacific Strategy." 

Such moves will seriously damage the hard-won peace and development in the region and seriously erode the ASEAN-centered regional cooperation architecture, Wang said, noting that the two countries should not let the Cold War mentality resurge in the region and the tragedy like Ukraine's happen in the region. 

The US has been trying to undermine the coordination and cooperation between ASEAN members and China at a deeper economic and security level by taking advantage of the differences between individual countries and China, Li said. "This is a manifestation of the Cold War mentality, which has caused military conflict in Europe."  

Li said once the COC is reached and put into practice, the exchanges and cooperation between countries in the region will be smoother, the degree of economic integration will be higher, the degree of mutual dependence on security will also be higher, which will effectively weaken the ability of the US to sow discord.