ASEAN+3 rice council meets in Ha Noi

The ASEAN plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) Council convened yesterday (May 29) for its second meeting, focusing on financial management regulations and food security.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh spoke highly of APTERR activities, saying the organisation had provided swift relief for countries hit by disasters, such as the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.

Ensuring food security, especially in such emergency circumstances, required timely joint efforts from all regional nations, Doanh said, so the meeting should focus on amendments to the rules and procedures for financial management of APTERR.

Participants also discussed co-operation mechanisms between ASEAN and APTERR and their action plan for the 2014-15 period.

APTERR was established in 2012 and includes Japan, the Republic of Korea and China in addition to the 10 ASEAN member countries. The organisation aims to deal with food shortages caused by natural disasters or man-made calamities through the provision of food assistance and nutrition improvement programmes to people in need.

Vietnam, WB cooperate for better investment climate

The Government of Vietnam is willing to closely work with the World Bank (WB) to better the country’s investment climate and competitiveness.




Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (right); WB Vietnam Country Director Victoria Kwakwa (left) (Photo: VNA)



Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made the remarks while receiving the WB Vietnam Country Director Victoria Kwakwa in Hanoi on May 29 to discuss stronger cooperation ties between Vietnam and the bank.

The Government leader said Vietnam has been carrying out specific support policies to help foreign-run businesses resume normal operation as soon as possible, following the recent disturbances in some localities sparked by China’s brazen and illegal placement of its oil rig in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

He highlighted the act as serious infringement of international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) and direct threat to peace, stability, security and safety of navigation in the East Sea.

The Prime Minister said he will attend a dialogue with businesspeople in June.

Kwakwa highly valued efforts by the Vietnamese Government to promptly settle the matter in a definitive manner and help damaged businesses stabilise their operations.

She said the Government’s swift reaction to the situation, as well as its support activities, have received the high appreciation from both international investors and organisations.

She confirmed that the World Bank will aid Vietnam to support damaged businesses, improve its investment environment and carry out effectively projects through the 17th replenishment of the International Development Assistance (IDA 17).

Defence Minister heads to Singapore for 13th Shangri-La Dialogue

Politburo member and Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh left Hanoi in the morning of May 30 for Singapore to attend the 13th IISS Asia Security Summit, better known as the Shangri-La Dialogue.



Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh. Photo: VNA



Hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the annual dialogue will take place from May 30 to June 1.

The agenda of the five plenary sessions that form the dialogue will focus on the contribution of the US to regional stability, the process of advancing military-to-military cooperation and the handling of tensions and conflict management in the Asia-Pacific.

The Shangri-La Dialogue this year will see the participation of many prime ministers, defence chiefs and researchers.

The dialogue will begin on the evening of May 30 with the keynote speech this year being delivered by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Deputy PM talks bilateral ties with EU High Representative

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and EU High Representative for Foreign Relations and Security Policy Catherine Ashton discussed measures to promote bilateral relations during a phone conversation on May 29.

The two sides affirmed to do their best to conclude negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement before the 10 th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM-10) Summit.

They also vowed to work closely to ensure the success of the ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting scheduled for July 23 in Brussels.

During their conversation, the two officials exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern, including the current East Sea situation.

The EU High Representative expressed her special concern about China’s recent acts, saying they may affect the regional security environment.

Ashton proposed that the parties concerned together seek a peaceful and cooperative solution in line with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to continue ensuring security and freedom of navigation.

The EU calls on the parties to apply measures to ease tension and take no unilateral acts that negatively impact on peace and stability in the region, she said.

Deputy PM, EU high representative hold phone talks 

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton have discussed measures to boost Vietnam-EU ties, including the exchange of high-level delegations in future.

During a phone conversation on May 29, the two sides pledged their best efforts to soon finalize the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations before the 10th ASEM summit, and bolster closer coordination to ensure the success of the ASEAN-EU Foreign Ministerial Meeting this July in Brussels.

They also compared notes on international issues of mutual concern including the current situation in the East Sea. The EU official expressed her deep concern over China’s actions that could adversely affect regional security.

She suggested related parties should seek a peaceful solution in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), adding that the EU urged concerned parties to ease tensions and avoid unilateral acts that could harm regional peace and security.

NA deputies discuss 2012 State budget balance

National Assembly (NA) deputies gathered at a plenary session in Hanoi on May 29 to discuss the State budget balance for 2012.

During the session, the deputies focused on the process of making State budget estimates, budget collection and spending and the execution of financial principles in budget collection and spending.

The impacts of the 2012 fiscal policies on the State budget, the implementation of the State Audit’s conclusions and proposals, and measures to improve it were also tabled.

Earlier, lawmakers discussed in group the draft revised Social Insurance Law and a bill on amendments to some articles of the Law on Vocational Training.

On May 30, the NA will hear reports on the revised Law on National Assembly Organisation and the amended Customs Law.

Legislators are expected to approve a resolution on the 2015 Law and Ordinance Building Programme, and adjustments to the agenda of the National Assembly in the 13th term and 2014. They will also discuss the draft Law on Environment Protection (revised).

Vietnam calls for effective maritime resources management

A Vietnamese representative at the United Nations has called on nations to join hands in building up the effective management of maritime resources, ensuring food security in each country.

A Vietnamese representative at the United Nations has called on nations to join hands in building up the effective management of maritime resources, ensuring food security in each country.

The head of the Vietnamese delegation to the ongoing UN consultative meeting on oceans and sea law in New York suggested technology transfer in the field of seafood exploitation from developed to developing countries.

At the 15th meeting of the UN open-ended informal consultative process on oceans and the law of the sea on May 27-30, the Vietnamese representative highly valued topics for discussions, stressing the important role of seafood to food security, especially for long coastal states with a large population like Vietnam.

According to the UN reports, seafood output, including catches and aquaculture, have seen a considerable increase, contributing to ensuring global food security. However, the seafood industry has faced challenges caused by climate change, pollution, population growth and illegal fishing.

To minimise negative impact and ensure sustainable growth of seafood output, delegates said that countries should increase connectivity, such as exchanges of information and technology transfer.

Also on this occasion, the Vietnamese head delegate made known the latest tensions caused by China in the East Sea which seriously affect legitimate fishing activities of Vietnamese fishermen.

Since early May, many Vietnamese fishing boats have been repeatedly attacked and seriously damaged by Chinese vessels. Most recently, on May 26, China’s vessels rammed and sank a Vietnamese boat, with 10 fishermen on board, while it was operating in its traditional fishing ground.

At the beginning of May, China illegally dispatched the Haiyang Shiyou-981 rig, as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft, to Vietnam’s waters and positioned the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

On May 27, China moved the rig to a new location 23 nautical miles from the old site. With the move, China has kept on violating Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction.

Chinese ships have repeatedly rammed and fired water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships which are carrying out their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters, leaving many Vietnamese ships damaged and many fisheries surveillance officers injured.

Public administration academy granted prestigious reward

President Truong Tan Sang presented the Ho Chi Minh Order to the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) at its 55th founding anniversary in Hanoi on May 29.

The Ho Chi Minh Order, Vietnam’s second highest honour, is conferred on collectives or individuals who have rendered outstanding services in various domains to the country.

As a leading institution in training personnel for the State apparatus, NAPA has educated tens of thousands of officials and public servants for central and local agencies in the past five decades.

It has also undertaken numerous pieces of research assisting administrative reform and policy making in Vietnam.

The NAPA is a member of the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration, the Eastern Regional Organisation for Public Administration, and the Asian Group for Public Administration.

At the ceremony, President Sang said that one major mission set up at the Party’s 11th Congress in 2011 is accelerating administrative reform and improving the effectiveness of State management.

To that end, it is of great importance to have professional and devoted staff, thus the academy plays a major role in performing this mission, he noted.

At the event, the State leader also granted the Independence Order (third class) to NAPA Director and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Nguyen Dang Thanh.

Workshop highlights 60 years of Vietnam-Mongolia diplomatic ties

The 60-year-old diplomatic relationship between Vietnam and Mongolia was the main focus of a workshop recently held in Mongolia.

Speaking at the May 27 event, Mongolian Deputy Foreign Minister D. Gankhuyag said that Mongolian leaders and people always treasure and wish to further develop the country’s friendship and cooperation with Vietnam.

During the workshop, both sides’ scholars delivered reports on the bilateral ties over the past 60 years, highlighting achievements as well as limitations in the fields of politics, economics, trade, culture, science and education.

One of the presentations stressed the importance of the Vietnam-Mongolia ties in helping Mongolia boost its political and economic integration into the ASEAN and Asian-Pacific region.

Regarding the current East Sea issue after China illegally placed its drilling rig deep inside Vietnam’s waters, delegates agreed that such small countries like Vietnam and Mongolia should unite and cooperate to form collective strength in regional and international issues.

Ambassador Phan Dang Duong took this occasion to thank Mongolian people and the Mongolia-Vietnam Friendship Association, together with the international community, for raising their voice backing justice and Vietnam’s legitimate aspiration to safeguard its sacred sovereignty.

East Sea tension affects regional security, say scholars

The escalating tension in the East Sea, a key navigation route as well as a site believed to habour vast deposits of oil, did and will have considerable implications for regional security, foreign scholars said at a round-table workshop in Singapore on May 28.

Discussions at the workshop focused on issues related to the current situation in the East Sea, including legal foundations for parties concerned to claim sovereignty, Indonesia’s role as a voice of moderation and mediation in the troubled waters, China’s sea strategy and the United States’ strategy of pivot to Asia.

Increased interests in the East Sea by countries beyond the region, such as India, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and possible scenarios for the East Sea situation were also put on the table.

Most speakers expressed concern about China’s increasingly assertive acts in territorial dispute with its neighbouring countries. They stressed that ASEAN and China should quickly reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea as soon as possible, as peace, stability and freedom of trade and navigation in the East Sea are the interest of not only ASEAN but also other countries in the world.

Talking with Vietnam News Agency correspondents, Dr.LeszekBuszynski from the Australia National University’s National Security College said there is very little legal basis for China’s nine-dash line in the East Sea, and the Chinese themselves have great difficulty trying to justify it.

Meanwhile, Prof. Dr K.S. Nathan from the National University of Malaysia held that if force is being used to intimidate any of the other claimants, it will invite counterforce. “That’s why we see that other external partners are also getting more and more interested in the East Sea dispute because they are interested in the safety of sea lines of communication, the free flow of commerce, free flow of trade on which the prosperity of Southeast Asia and Asia has depended for a long time,” he said.

Many speakers said besides other challenges such as pirate, terrorism and human trafficking, water territorial disputes are posing the greatest obstacle to efforts to create a good order in ASEAN region. Therefore, Mira Permatasari, a staff of the Office of Private Secretary to Indonesia President said a greater role of ASEAN as a key driver is needed to solve the dispute.

At the beginning of May, China illegally dispatched the Haiyang Shiyou-981 rig, as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft, to Vietnam’s waters and positioned the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

On May 27, China moved the rig to 15 degrees 33 minutes 22 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 36 seconds east longitude. The new location is 25 nautical miles from Tri Ton Island in Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago and 23 nautical miles east-northeast from the old location, still completely within Vietnam’s continental shelf. With the move, China has kept on violating Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction.

Chinese ships have repeatedly rammed and fired water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships which are carrying out their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters, leaving many Vietnamese ships damaged and many fisheries surveillance officers injured.

Azerbaijan aspires to strong ties with Vietnam

Azerbaijan attaches great importance to developing ties with Vietnam, Ambassador Anar Imanov said at a function in Hanoi on May 28, marking Azerbaijan’s 96th National Day.

The opening of the Azerbaijan embassy in Hanoi in 2013 is part of the country’s foreign policy of strengthening comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam, he said.

The diplomat recalled reciprocal high-level visits between Vietnam and Azerbaijan and noted the two countries have great potential for boosting long-term and comprehensive cooperation in all realms, from politics to economics, tourism, science-technology, culture and social affairs.

For her part, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Phuong Nga said the relationship between Vietnam and Azerbaijan has stood the test of time and developed considerably in recent times.

Vietnamese people bear in their heart and mind the whole-hearted support and valuable assistance given by Azerbaijan people during the former’s past struggle for national liberation and defence, Nga said.

She also thanked Azerbaijan for having trained generations of Vietnamese students and experts over the years.

After gaining independence in 1991, Azerbaijan has carried out economic reform and made important achievements. It is now a regional powerhouse in energy, trade and transportation.

Australia supports Vietnam’s East Sea peace efforts

Australia supports Vietnam’s efforts to deescalate and defuse tensions in the East Sea through diplomatic and legal channels, Professor Robert Hill, former Australian Minister for Defence has said.

Professor Hill made the statement during a working session with a delegation from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in Sydney on May 28.

The discussion, initiated by the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and the Lowy Institute for International Policy, examined developments in the East Sea with China given its consequential impact threatening peace and stability in the Southeast Asian region.

Hill stated unequivocally that the provocative actions of China by illegally placing the Haiyang Shiyou 981 drilling oil rig and deploying armed ships and escorting planes to Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are irrefutably and unnecessarily increasing tensions in the East Sea.

Echoing Hill’s statements, Hoang Anh Tuan, Director-General of the Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam asserted that China’s actions are a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction.

They are egregious transgressions of the United Nations Charter and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and belie agreements reached by the two countries’ leaders, Tuan said.

China’s provocation threatens peace and stability, and security, safety and freedom of navigation in the region, and damage friendly relations between the two peoples, he said

Australian scholars and experts discussed China’s motive behind its deployment of the oil rig, ASEAN’s role in settling the dispute, the US’s ‘pivot’ policy, and Vietnam’s solutions. 

Vietnam treasures fraternal solidarity with Cuba

Vietnam always attaches importance to the fraternal solidarity, traditional friendship and close cooperation with Cuba, a Vietnamese official has said.

Tran Quoc Vuong, Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and Chief of its Office, made the affirmation in Hanoi on May 29 while receiving a delegation from the Cuban Communist Youth League Central Committee led by its member Yuniasky Crespo Baquero.

He praised the youth unions and young generations of the two countries for their great role and responsibility in inheriting and promoting the bilateral ties over the past time.

Vuong expressed his belief that they will continuously improve the quality of ongoing joint programmes as well as seek to expand cooperation to new areas.

Also at the reception, Vuong informed his guests of China’s illegal placement of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, which violated Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction.

Vietnam’s consistent policy is to resolve the issue by peaceful means on the basis of international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in particular, he said, adding the country seeks Cuba’s support for its just struggle.

For his part, Yuniasky Crespo Baquero affirmed the Cuban Communist Youth League always values the friendship and cooperation between the two Parties, two States and their people.

She said she hopes that the two Parties and States will continue creating favourable conditions for both sides’ youth unions to enhance their exchange activities, contributing to fostering the fraternal solidarity and traditional friendship between Vietnam and Cuba.

President meets needy youth to mark International Children's Day

President Truong Tan Sang yesterday (May 29) met 55 children from disadvantaged backgrounds. They were chosen from 11 provinces and cities to mark International Children's Day.




President Truong Tan Sang meets with disadvantaged children yesterday ahead of International Children's Day on June 1. 



The event has been held at the Presidential Palace in Ha Noi annually since 2008.

Many of the children were from ethnic minorities and all are outstanding students.

President Sang told the children that the Government and Party paid special attention to the young generation, especially those from disadvantaged families. He called on them to study well, pursue their dreams and contribute to society.

He thanked individuals, organisations and charities that, for the past 22 years, had provided more than VND4 trillion (US$188 million) to the Viet Nam Fund for Children. This had helped more than 28 million children over the years.

He asked all localities to increase their support for children and education and to connect donors with children and encourage the private sector to join in.

Timing and solutions to sue China in int’l court

Vietnam is  considering various legal options available in crafting its response to the blatant illegal placement by China of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

Minister and Government Office Chairman Nguyen Van Nien shared this view at a regular cabinet meeting on May 29 in Hanoi while responding to questions raised by two major international media agencies AP and Reuters about Vietnam’s possible use of legal means in the Chinese situation.

In regard to Vietnam’s preparations for a lawsuit against China, Minister Nien said when bringing the lawsuit to the International Court of Justice or the International Court of Arbitration, legal documents and timing are important considerations, but there are still other ramifications that must be taken into account.

"We are calculating and strategizing and it is impossible to give an answer at this time as to how exactly the legal process will play out" said Minister Nen.

Regarding questions from the two foreign news agencies about PM Nguyen Tan Dung’s recent working visit to the Philippines, Minister Nen once again confirmed, “ When the country needs, all Vietnamese people show their patriotism and leaders express their capacity anytime and anywhere. As the head of the Government, PM Dung demonstrated his attitude and contributed his voice to make the whole world understand the country’s consistent stance and spirit.”

During the two trips to Myanmar and the Philippines, all members of the Vietnamese delegation led by PM Nguyen Tan Dung are the ones capable of exchanging with international friends to help them gain a better understanding about Vietnam’s stance and resolute struggle.

Over the recent time, to express their indignation over China’s infringement on sea and island sovereignty, the Vietnamese people have gathered and rallied to hold marches to express their attitude.

Expressing patriotism and love for the homeland is legitimate and must be respected. However, if the expression is beyond control leading to inconsiderate actions is not acceptable. So, in this situation, under the direction of the Politburo and the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Public Security has rapidly directed local police to prevent and arrest extremists and law-breakers.

The security sector has prosecuted over 100 cases in three provinces (Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ha Tinh) and while handling this problem, the sector ensure no violation of human rights and the right person and true crime to handle according to law, Nen said.

About the question that the Government will consider setting up a Ministry responsible for long-term struggle with China to defend the country’s sea and island sovereignty, Minister Nen said, “Vietnam has long since prepared for struggle at sea. The government has also assigned a specialized section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work, study and invite foreign experts to consult and perform this task. "

Concerning the worst case that from now until August 15, China will not withdraw its oil rig, Minister Nen quoted PM Nguyen Tan Dung as saying; “First, we continue to struggle by peaceful means and show our goodwill on diplomatic forums.  Second, we continue calling on China to move its oil rig and escort ships out of the Vietnamese waters. This must be done increasingly stronger while preventing instigators’ provocation.

The PM has suggested disseminating information abroad aiming to convey all the facts, and current developments through images or languages to enlist the support of the international community.

“We believe that a big country like China, if it wants to survive as a superpower in the true sense, it must abide by the law” Nen concluded.