South China Sea Row: Vietnam Seeks India's Support

22/12/2012- Amid growing Chinese assertiveness in the resource-rich South China Sea, Vietnam today raised the issue at ASEAN-India Summit here seeking India's support to ensure resolution of the dispute in accordance with principles of international law.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung speaks at the the Commemorative Summit marking the 20 th anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue relations, held in New Delhi on December 20

"I hope that India supports ASEAN and China in full implementation of the declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea and ASEAN Six-Point Principle on the South China Sea in order to settle the dispute by a peaceful means on the basis of international law particularly 1992 UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea," Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung said.

He was addressing the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit here which was being attended by leaders of ten nations.

Later talking to reporters, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, "There are fundamental issues that do not require India's intervention but what we would like to convey within the larger ASEAN family and India-ASEAN dialogue...I think there are some issues that really need to be resolved between the countries concerned."

China has been increasing its assertiveness in the South China Sea (SCS), which is witnessing territorial disputes both-- land (island) and maritime-- among seven sovereign states within the region, including the Philippines and Vietnam.

Though India is not party to the dispute, it has oil exploration projects in the Vietnamese blocks. This is much to the discomfort of China, which has been objecting to these ventures, claiming that the territory belongs to it.

India has been maintaining that all concerned countries must respect principles of international law in resolving the issue while asserting that freedom of navigation and access to resources in the area must be ensured in accordance with laid down principles.

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