Vietnam, Malaysia express shared concern over East Sea situation

VOV.VN - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad underlined the importance of settling disputes through peaceful means in line with international law during their talks in Hanoi on August 27.

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At the talks, the Vietnamese government leader warmly welcomed Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a long-lasting and close friend of the Vietnamese people who return to Vietnam after 21 years. He expressed confidence that the guest's visit will be successful, making significant contributions to strengthening the friendship and strategic partnership between Vietnam and Malaysia in the new situation. 

He congratulated Malaysia, under the leadership of PM Mohamad, on sustaining its stable growth and global competitiveness, towards the goal of “Shared Prosperity 2030”. 

In reply, the Malaysian PM affirmed that his nation always places importance on fostering the strategic partnership with Vietnam, which it considers a close neighbour and trustworthy partner in the region, especially within the framework of ASEAN Community. 

The two PMs consented to further facilitate visits at all levels, step up cooperation via the party and National Assembly channels, and take full advantage of bilateral cooperation mechanisms. 

The Communist Party of Vietnam desires to further promote ties with the ruling Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) of Malaysia, PM Phuc told his guest.

Both sides welcomed the exchange of letters between the two legislative bodies on the establishment of the Vietnam – Malaysia friendship parliamentarians’ group, and pledged support for the group in working to deepen mutual understanding, making greater contributions to relations between the two legislatures and the two nations. 

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc greets his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad (L).
They committed to early signing an action programme to realize the bilateral strategic partnership for 2020 – 2025, with a focus on enhancing economic links, strategic cooperation in national defence and security, and partnership in marine cooperation, innovation, science, education and labour. 

The two sides agreed to promptly launch bilateral defence mechanisms, including a high-level committee on defence cooperation and naval consultations, while accelerating the signing of cooperation documents, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation, a MoU on the establishment of joint patrol and hotline at sea, a MoU on law cooperation, agreements on the prevention and control of human trafficking, and the transfer of sentenced persons. 

They also shared experience in the fight against corruption and concurred to broaden ties between agencies concerned, regarding it as one of the pillar fields in order to build a facilitating, transparent and action-oriented government. 

They shared the view that economic, trade and investment ties has been a bright spot in bilateral ties with last year’s bilateral trade reaching US$11.5 billion, a year on year rise of 13%. Malaysia is the eighth largest investor in Vietnam with nearly 600 projects worth over US$12 billion.

In order to elevate two-way trade to US$15 billion, PM Mohamad vowed to intensify investment in Vietnam in the areas using modern technology and with high added value, and support Vietnam’s exports to Malaysia, especially agro-forestry-fisheries and Halal products. 

Host and guest underscored the significance of collaboration in improving workforce quality and expanding cultural ties and people-to-people exchange. The Malaysian government will continue ensuring legitimate interests and providing optimal conditions for Vietnamese workers living in Malaysia. 
Regarding marine cooperation, the two PMs promised to share experience in mapping out strategies for marine economy, marine science and sea energy. The leaders praised both sides for having reached an agreement on the content of a MoU on cooperation in legal enforcement and search and rescue at sea, a step towards the early signing of the document. 

They agreed that the two countries will work closely together to deal with issues regarding seized fishermen and fishing vessels in a humanitarian spirit and in conformity with international law. 

Regarding regional and global strategic and security issues of common concern, the Malaysian PM voiced his nation’s support for Vietnam as Chair of ASEAN in 2020 and as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the 2020 – 2021 tenure. 

Malaysia will coordinate closely with Vietnam to speed up the building of an ASEAN Community of unity and uphold the bloc’s central role in the regional architecture for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and development based on rules. 

The pair agreed that as two neighbours bordering the East Sea with associated security and interests, Vietnam and Malaysia will beef up closer collaboration with ASEAN to ensure peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea. 

The two PMs expressed deep concern over the recent developments in the East Sea and emphasized the importance of settling disputes by peaceful means in line with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), with respect for diplomatic and legal process, refraining from the use of threat and threat to use force, avoiding militarization, fully and seriously implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and working towards the early finalization of an effective and legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC). 

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After the talks, they witnessed the signing of a letter of intent on the signing of an MoU on cooperation in legal enforcement and search and rescue at sea, and the exchange of letters on the establishment of Malaysia – Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group.