Hanoi, Sep 3 (IANS) India and Vietnam on Saturday called for peaceful resolution to disputes in South China Sea, and also stressed on the need to reform the United Nations, including expansion of its Security Council, with “enhanced representation” from developing countries.
According to a joint statement issued after a meeting between visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Modi reaffirmed India’s interest in promoting defence industry cooperation between the two sides.
The statement also referred to a judgment by an international tribunal on July 12 this year, which was on a dispute between China and Philippines over some strategically located reefs and atolls. The judgment is in favour of Philippines and China has rejected it.
India and Vietnam, in their joint statement called upon “all states” to resolve dispute through peaceful means.
Noting the Award, both sides “reiterated their support for peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded commerce, based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea)”.
“Both sides also called on all states to resolve disputes through peaceful means without threat or use of force and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could complicate or escalate disputes affecting peace and stability, respect the diplomatic and legal processes, fully observe the Declaration on the Conduct of parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and soon finalize the Code of Conduct (COC),” the joint statement said.
This also comes as Prime Minister Modi is visiting China.
On the need of reforms in the UN, the statement said: “Both Vietnam and India stressed the need for reform of the United Nations and expansion of the UN Security Council in both the permanent and the non-permanent categories of membership, with enhanced representation from developing countries.”
The statement said Prime Minister Modi has expressed gratitude for Vietnam’s consistent support to India’s candidature for permanent membership in a reformed and expanded UNSC.
“The Prime Ministers reaffirmed support for each other’s candidature for non-permanent membership of the UNSC — Vietnam for the term 2020-21 and India for the term 2021-22”.
Modi also reaffirmed India’s significant interest in promoting defence industry cooperation between the two sides and committed to provide a new Line of Credit for Vietnam in this area.
Both sides welcomed the signing of the contract for Offshore High-speed Patrol Boats between Larsen & Toubro and Vietnam Border Guards utilizing the $100 million Line of Credit for defence procurement extended by India to Vietnam, and also expressed the desire to work together to maintain peace, stability, growth and prosperity “in Asia and beyond”.
The joint statement also stressed on enhancing bilateral economic engagement asked ministries and agencies on both sides to take “practical measures” to achieve the trade target of $15 billion by 2020.
The two Prime Ministers urged leaders of business and industry to explore new business opportunities, and Prime Minister Modi invited Vietnamese companies to take advantage of the various schemes and facilities offered under the ‘Make in India’ programme.
The two sides have identified priority areas for cooperation, which include hydrocarbons, power generation, renewable energy, infrastructure, tourism, textiles, footwear, medical and pharmaceuticals, ICT, electronics, agriculture, agro-products, chemicals, machine tools and other supporting industries.