Peace and aviation security in Asia Pacific, especially in the East Vietnam Sea, are being endangered by baseless sovereignty claims supported only by unilateral power, U.S. General Martin Dempsey said during his talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi on Thursday.
General Dempsey is on a four-day visit, starting on Wednesday, to the Southeast Asian country, the first ever by a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Army.
He said that his visit is a commitment to peace and stability in the region, and shows the U.S.’s wish to become a good partner of Vietnam.
The U.S. guest shared the view that peace, stability, maritime and aviation security, safety, and freedom in Asia Pacific, especially in the East Vietnam Sea, is being threatened seriously by groundless claims and sovereignty-claiming actions based only on unilateral power.
Such a situation is a threat not only to Vietnam and Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states but also to the interests of other countries, including the U.S., General Dempsey said.
He stressed that countries, including the U.S., have the responsibility for maintaining peace, stability, maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom in the region, and for supporting the settlement of disputes by peaceful means based on international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, without unilaterally using power or threatening to use force.
The U.S. is preparing a roadmap and ways to lift the ban on sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam, General Dempsey said, adding that the number of government officials, Congressmen, diplomats, and military men approving of the lift is increasing.
The American general also said the U.S. backs Vietnam’s participation in the UN’s peacekeeping operations and wishes to cooperate with the Southeast Asian country in maritime security and solving challenges to the protection of sovereignty at sea.
PM Dung affirmed that Vietnam wants to cooperate with the U.S. in boosting the comprehensive relations between the two countries in all fields for the interests of both countries and for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.
The Vietnamese government leader added that the two countries should continue settling Agent Orange/dioxin consequences, clearing UXOs, teaching English to Vietnamese officers, and supporting Vietnam’s joining in the UN peacekeeping mission.