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Regular Press Conference by MOFA Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang on May 4, 2017

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc to attend the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2017

At the invitations of Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hunsen and the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will attend the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2017 (WEF ASEAN 2017) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from May 11-12.

Under the theme “Youth, Technology and Growth: Securing ASEAN’s Demographic and Digital Dividends” the Summit will review the ASEAN’s development and integration process and talk about obstacles in the forthcoming development phase of the Association. The Summit will also discuss issues that mirror the interests of businesses in ASEAN, such as ASEAN’s position in the new geopolitical and global economic context, prospects for the ASEAN Economic Community, and the implication of the fourth industrial revolution on ASEAN countries in the fields of education, labor, competitiveness, digital economy etc.

Viet Nam attends the WEF ASEAN 2017 to promote its image as a dynamic economy, strongly determined to reform and to integrate into the world and keen on bettering its investment environment as well as advocating  a constructive and civic and business – centered governance  that serves the national development, and at the same time showcasing Vietnam’s role and responsibility in ASEAN and the region and enhancing the active cooperation between Viet Nam and WEF.

Prime Minister will attend and address at the plenary Opening and Closing sessions, Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders, work with the ASEAN Regional Strategy Group and meet with WEF’s leaders to talk about Viet Nam’s economy, Special session on Viet Nam, etc.

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh to visit Japan

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Viet Nam Pham Binh Minh will pay a visit to Japan and co-chair the 9th Meeting of the Viet Nam – Japan Cooperation Committee from May 8 – 10, 2017.

At the meeting, the two sides will discuss concrete measures to implement agreements reached by Leaders of the two countries, promoting the “Viet Nam – Japan Extensive Strategic Partnership” in a comprehensive and substantive manner on fields of politics, diplomacy, security and defense, economics, trade, agriculture, culture, education. On this occasion, both sides will exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

During the visit, DPM FM Pham Binh Minh will pay call on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, meet with President of Japan – Viet Nam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance, President of Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Vice President Mdm. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh to visit Mongolia and attend the Global Women Summit In Japan

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh will pay an official visit to Mongolia, a working visit to Japan and attend the Global Summit of Women in Tokyo, Japan from 8 – 10, May 2017.

The visit to Mongolia, from May 8 – 9, aims to enhance the traditional friendship and mutually beneficial partnership with Mongolia, boost economic cooperation and expand trade and cooperation in labor, education, culture, tourism.

During the visit, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh will hold talks with Mongolian Prime Minister, pay call on Mongolian President, meet with President of Mongolia – Viet Nam Friendship Association, attend and address Viet Nam – Mongolia Business Forum.

In Japan, between May 11 - 15, the Vice President will attend the Global Summit of Women in Tokyo and pay working visit to Japan.

Under the theme “Beyond Womenomics: Accelerating Access” the Global Summit of Women will discuss how to speed up the women’s ascent to business leadership, to scale up the growth of women-owned enterprises, to open up the global market to women in business, to move more women and girls to the technology industries, to faster the more family – friendly policies that benefit women and men.

On this occasion, the Vice President will visit Japan to enhance the extensive strategic partnership with Japan, especially in economic, labor, agriculture areas, so as to enhance cooperation between localities and businesses in the two countries, attract investment and boost tourism from Japan to Viet Nam.

During the visit, the Vice President will pay call on the Emperor and Empress of Japan, the Crown Prince, Leader of Japanese Parliament and visit Fukuoka, attend and address Viet Nam – Fukuoka Business Forum, meet the Organization for Economic Internalization Promotion and Kyushu – Viet Nam Friendship Association.
APEC SOM 2 – HLPD HRD – MRT 23 and related meetings

The 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 2) and related meetings will take place in Hanoi from May 9 – 18. The meetings aim at implementing the APEC key agenda and priorities reached during the SOM 1 and work on documents to submit for approval by the Leaders (on November 2017) and Ministerial meetings in 2017. SOM 2 agenda includes five major group of meetings, namely

(1) 49 meetings, workshops of committees and working groups (from May 9 – 16) that will prepare documents for SOM 2;
(2) Multi-party dialogue on APEC cooperation towards 2020 and beyond (May 16). The dialogue, the first of its kind and at Viet Nam’s initiative, will focus on working out measures complete Bogor Goals on schedule by 2020 and measures to build APEC vision beyond 2020.
(3) APEC Study Centers Consortium Conference  (May 12 – 13)
(4) Meeting of Steering Committee and Plenary Meeting of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Committee (May 14 – 15) will discuss the prospect for economic growth and connectivity of the Asia Pacific, new momentum for economic growth and connectivity, the APEC Agenda on digital and cyber economy, challenges and opportunities in global administration.
(5) Second Senior Officials’ Meeting – SOM 2  (May 17- 18) will discuss the text of major APEC documents for 2017; implement priorities reached in SOM 1; propose orientations from now to SOM 3; the outcome of High-level Policy Dialogue on Human Resource Development and other APEC agenda.
High-level dialogue on human resource development in the digital age (May 14 – 15) and Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting (May 19 – 21) will also take place on this occasion.
Special ASEAN – US foreign ministers’ meeting, 30th ASEAN – US dialogue, 14 ASEAN – CANADA dialogue 14
The Special ASEAN  - US Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will take place in Washington DC between May 3 – 4. This is an opportunity for ASEAN and the US to discuss ways to promote ASEAN – US ties; prepare for the ASEAN – US senior meetings throughout 2017, especially the Commemorative Summit on the 40th anniversary off ASEAN – USS relations.  This summit meeting will be preceded by the 30 ASEAN – US Senior Officials’ Dialogue.
The 14th ASEAN – Canada Dialogue will take place in Ottawa, Canada on May 7 – 8. The meeting will focus on reviewing and discussing the promotion of cooperation between ASEAN and Canada and the activities to commemorate the 40th anniversary of ASEAN – Canada relations, including the possibility for holding a commemorative summit in November 2017 in the Philippines. The meeting will also touch upon regional and international issues of common interest.
Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung will head the Vietnamese delegation to attend the meetings in the US and Canada. Viet Nam’s participation in these event showcases its active and responsible role in ASEAN and its contribution to promoting ASEAN partnership with the US and Canada.


At the 30th ASEAN Summit in the Philippines, no such word as “militarization”, “island building”  and “to fully respect the diplomatic and legal process” was included in the meeting’s statement.  What is Viet Nam’s reaction to this?
First of all, I would like to clarify that this is the Chairman’s statement, not the Joint Statement of the Summit.
In regards to the East Sea issue, the Chairman’s  Statement  mentioned the common and consistent view of ASEAN, that is countries are responsible for maintaining peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, exercising restraint, refraining from the threat or use of force, fully respecting the diplomatic and legal process, settling disputes through peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully observing the Declaration on Conducts by Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and working toward the Code of Conducts in the South China Sea (COC).
As I have mentioned earlier, it is the Chairman’s Statement . Therefore, the Chairman decided on how and what he would consult and make the statement.
It was reported in the international media that there were on May 2 a meeting of the TPP signatory countries without the US. What is Viet Nam’s view on a TPP meeting that did not include the US?
Viet Nam views that its participation in TPP and other FTAs is one of the steps it takes to implement the policy of active engagement in comprehensive and deepening integration in global economy,  improve the legal system and market mechanism, create new momentum for the national development and at the same time contribute to the regional integration and connectivity.
From that point of view, Viet Nam will proceed its reforms, making domestic preparation to effectively implement its commitments within the FTAs Viet Nam has and will participate.
Viet Nam will discuss with other TPP member countries on TPP future paths.
China has unilaterally announced a fishing ban effectively from May 1 through August 16, 2017. According to the ban, fishermen are prohibited to fish in the East Sea. What is Viet Nam’s position on this?
Viet Nam has sufficient legal ground and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago as well as legitimate rights over its waters, established in accordance with the  1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Viet Nam resolutely protests and rejects this unilateral decision by the Chinese side since it seriously violates Viet Nam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa Archipelago and Viet Nam’s legitimate rights and interests over its water. This decision violates international law, including UNCLOS and other legal international documents and runs counter to the spirit and text of the Declaration on conducts of parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed between ASEAN and China in 2002. This move is out of step with the development trend in the relations between the two countries and is not conducive to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.
What is the main focus of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s upcoming visit to the US? Are the two countries planning to boost the bilateral military ties, especially the weapon sales and procurement?
President Donald Trump has sent a letter of invitation to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for an official visit to the US. The two sides are working on specific agenda of the visit.
Ties between the US and China are getting warmer. Will that affect Viet Nam? As far as the East Sea issue is concerned, do you worry that the Trump administration will not react to actions that China might take in the East Sea? Do you feel isolated when several countries in the region are getting closer to China?
Viet Nam pursues foreign policies of independence, self-reliance, multilateralization and diversification, active international integration, being a reliable friend and partner of countries in the world. Viet Nam is fully supportive to the cooperation between countries for peace, stability, cooperation, development and prosperity in the region and the world.
We holds that the maintenance of peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea lies in the interest as well as responsibility of countries in and outside the region.  Therefore, countries need to work together to safeguard and promote this common goal, persistently settling the East Sea issues by peaceful means and in line with international law, respect the diplomatic and legal process, the Declaration on Conducts of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), working toward the Code of conducts in the South China Sea (COC).
The Chairman’s Statement of the 30th ASEAN summit failed to clearly state on the East Sea. For many years now there has been no joint statement that was able to reach consensus on the East Sea issue.  Lack of consensus is understood that some countries have shied away from putting the East Sea issue on the agenda. Countries have failed to form a united front against Chinese militarization in the East Sea. Do you have any comment on this?
As I have mentioned earlier, the East Sea issue has been touched upon during the 30th ASEAN summit.
ASEAN countries are united in a common and consistent stance that countries are responsible for maintaining peace, stability, security, freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, exercising restraint, refraining from the threat or use of force, fully respecting the diplomatic and legal process, settling disputes through peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully observing the Declaration on Conducts by Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and working toward the Code of Conducts in the South China Sea (COC).

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