News / Asia

Top China Diplomat Travels to Vietnam for Talks to Ease Tensions

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, left, is greeted by a hotel executive as he arrives in Hanoi, Vietnam, June 17, 2014.
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, left, is greeted by a hotel executive as he arrives in Hanoi, Vietnam, June 17, 2014.
Reuters
China's top diplomat arrived in Vietnam Tuesday in a sign the two countries want to ease tensions over China's deployment of an oil rig in the disputed South China Sea, but experts said there were many obstacles to healing the ruptured relationship.
 
The visit by State Councilor Yang Jiechi, who outranks the foreign minister, will be the highest level direct contact between Beijing and Hanoi since a Chinese state oil company parked the rig in waters claimed by both countries on May 2.
 
Yang would attend an annual meeting on bilateral cooperation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing. Vietnamese officials said Yang would meet Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung as well as the head of the country's ruling communist party.
 
“We hope that Vietnam keeps its eye on the broader picture, meets China halfway and appropriately resolves the present situation,” Hua said, without directly mentioning the rig.
 
Vietnam's Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said the rig would be discussed.

“As we have affirmed many times, Vietnam has always been patient to look for dialogue with China to peacefully resolve the tension in the East Sea,” Binh said, referring to the South China Sea, in an AP report.

“This meeting, therefore, will surely be a channel and an event where the two sides can discuss the issue to find solutions to the current tension," Binh added.

Ties between the two neighbors have been largely frozen since early May, with both sides constantly accusing the other of inflaming the situation. Dozens of Vietnamese and Chinese coastguard and fishing vessels have repeatedly squared off around the rig, resulting in a number of collisions.
 
Olive branch

Ni Lexiong, a naval expert at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said he believed China was extending an olive branch to Vietnam.
 
“Of course our country wants to avoid conflict, but can this visit really solve all of the issues?” Ni said. “It's difficult to say to what extent there will be resolutions.”
 
“Vietnam in this case went too far. It's up to them to choose not to incite conflict,” he added.

Vietnam’s former consul general to Guangzhou, China, told VOA’s Vietnamese Service that Beijing is seeking compromise through Yang’s visit.

“If it sees sense after being strongly opposed by Vietnamese people, and being criticized by the world community, it would be better to withdraw the drilling platform," said Duong Danh Dy. "It is up to them to decide. China has recently moved the rig and it appears that China is prepared for gradual de-escalation.”
 
The Haiyang Shiyou 981 rig is drilling between the Paracel Islands, which are occupied by China, and the Vietnamese coast.
 
Vietnam has said the rig is in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf, while China says it is operating within its waters.
 
The rig's deployment triggered anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam last month in which four people were killed during a rampage of destruction and looting of factories believed to be owned by Chinese companies. Many of the factories were Taiwanese-owned.
 
China has demanded Vietnam provide compensation for damage caused in the riots and punish those responsible.
 
Vietnam detained several hundred people in the aftermath of the violence. Around a dozen people have been tried and given jail terms of up to three years.
 
Prime Minister Dung last month said his government was considering taking legal action against China following deployment of the rig. That drew an angry response from Beijing.
 
China has said the rig will explore in the area until mid-August.
 
Beijing claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, but parts of the potentially energy-rich waters are also subject to claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

VOA’s Vietnamese Service contributed to this report.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: So So
June 18, 2014 7:34 AM
Monroe Doctrine makes good sense.

by: So So
June 18, 2014 7:31 AM
... If gets pushed too hard VN may have to become one. A democratic VN partner of the TPP and with strong tie militarily to the US and its allies inn the region will make VN prosperous and safe.

by: So So from: US
June 18, 2014 7:03 AM
A military ally of the US in the backyard of China house is not a good thing.
If VN gets pushed too hard it may have to become one or something close to it.

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
June 17, 2014 9:43 PM
Taiwan published the nine dash line early as 1947! Democratic Taiwan still claims the nine dash line!
PRC formally announced the sovereignty over xisha, nansha islands in 1958, and then viet PM followed by recognizing it the same year!
Util 1974, viet text books were still use the Chinese names for xisha nansha islands!
Viet is an evil, filthy liar and thief! Viet must be punished!
In Response

by: Henry Dinh from: USA
June 17, 2014 11:46 PM
China is the biggest liar of all ! and the filthy Chinese such as Huang should be so shameful of his own country as to renounce his citizenship as many righteous Chinese friends of mine have done. The more Huang talks, the more it shows his ignorance. Vietnam has always owned these islands long before the 5th century. In 1974, South Vietnam was the official owner of these islands. Show me a piece of paper that Nguyen Van Thieu agreed with Red commies on these islands!!!

China should be kicked in the butt for being so dumb!
In Response

by: Spy from: Canada
June 17, 2014 11:08 PM
Try not to get caught. Engineer and thug sent to Canada to learn from the Canadian Navy, ...

by: NG from: Canada
June 17, 2014 7:50 PM
Please note that Vietnam claimed almost all South China Sea as its own territory, and extracted and is extracting huge amounts of oil and gas from disputed South China Sea. China didn't get even one drop of oil from South China Sea so far. Plus the China oil rig is with China side in terms of South China Sea boundary (9-dash line) recognized by Vietnam in written form in 1950-1970s.

by: NG from: Canada
June 17, 2014 7:43 PM
Please remember KMT government (Taiwan), a US ally, set up 9-dash line in 1940s, and Vietnam recognized the boundary in South China Sea between China and Vietnam in written form in 1950s-1970s. The current oil rig of China is within China in terms of Vietnam-recognized boundary in 1950-1970s.

Please also remember that it is Vietnam who occupied most South China Sea islands and extracted (is extracting) huge amounts of gas and oil from South China Sea , NOT China, China didn’t get one drop of oil from South China sea so far. So it is Vietnam who bully China, a small dog is biting a big dog.
Calm down before you only blame China and before your prejudice. These Asian countries should talk and stop provocative actions, e.g. Vietnam should stop extracting gas and oil from disputed South China Sea in order to get China back to the Table. Vietnam, the aggressive small dog, should not bully China, the big dog, much if Vietnam really want to solve South China Sea issues.

Why some guys here were so easily cheated by Vietnam? Ignorance and prejudice without basic knowledge of South China Sea may be one of the reasons.

by: meanbill from: USA
June 17, 2014 12:01 PM
AS ALWAYS? -- China wants to settle all disputes by peaceful dialog, and sit down and drink tea together, and talk? -- (REMEMBER?) -- there isn't a (good lawyer) on this earth, that has ever said that China's (nine dash line) violated any "Law of the Sea" or any other laws anywhere? -- (But, Vietnam might convince China to share?)

by: So So from: US
June 17, 2014 10:01 AM
Something new, Communist China is susceptible to world opinions, (or she is pretending, may be?)
In Response

by: Ian from: USA
June 17, 2014 11:33 AM
it is just a Chinese ploy in the stealing and establishing total ownership of the sea in the middle of those South-East Asian countries

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More