Vietnam and the Philippines discussed the establishment of a bilateral strategic partnership at a meeting held during a two-day visit to the Philippines by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh that started Thursday.
The function was opened by the Vietnam-Philippines Joint Commission and was co-chaired by Deputy PM Minh and the host country’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
At the event, the two sides noted that bilateral relations between the two countries are developing well in various aspects, including politics, trade and investment, fisheries, marine and oceanic affairs, and defense and security cooperation.
The host and guest expressed pleasure at the stable growth of their two-way trade, which hit US$2.8 billion in 2014, and agreed to resume meetings of the sub-committees on trade cooperation to seek ways to boost trade value to over $3 billion.
The two sides agreed to continue enhancing collaboration in maritime-ocean affairs, including effectively realizing agreements in fisheries, search and rescue, and coping with ocean oil spills.
Regarding the East Vietnam Sea issue, both sides expressed their concern over the ongoing large-scale encroachment activities that pose a threat to peace and stability in the region, as well as to the lives of many people across coastal states in the area.
The two officials agreed that the parties concerned should adhere to the ASEAN-China Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC), conclude a Code of Conduct (COC), and exercise restraint from undertaking any action that may escalate tension in the area.
The two sides stressed that all disputes related to the East Vietnam Sea should be resolved by peaceful measures based on international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
They also reiterated their commitment to continued bilateral and multilateral cooperation towards the establishment of the ASEAN Community as well as upholding the centrality and unity of ASEAN in the evolving regional architecture.