Vietnam supports India's South China Sea stand, UNSC bid

Jan 15, 2013- Hanoi: Vietnam Tuesday backed India's stand that there should be freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, an area China wants New Delhi to keep away from, and also extended support to the country's bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Sanjay Singh, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said Vietnam has stressed on greater cooperation between the two countries in strategic, economic and other matters, briefing reporters during Vice President Hamid Ansari's four-day state visit here.

"Vietnam has expressed support on the freedom of navigation in South China Sea..... It also said it supports India's bid for a Permanent membership of the UN Security Council," Singh said.

Asked for further details, he said though the main focus of Ansari's meetings with Vietnam's top leadership was bilateral, Hanoi has expressed the "need for peace and stability in the region, including the South China Sea".

Vietnam is of the view that any disputes in the region should be dealt with under the six-point formula of ASEAN and the 1982 UNCLOS Agreement.

India maintains that it is only engaged in oil exploration in the South China Sea while China sees India's foray into the region as an attempt to increase its strategic presence.

Ansari pointed out that Indian companies in the field of oil and gas exploration are actively engaged in several projects in Vietnam.

"India is also prepared to continue extending lines of credit on concessional terms, especially for infrastructure development," he said at a programme here.



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