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Vietnam Leader Backs India’s Stand on South China Sea Ahead of Visit

Vietnam Leader Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party, will pay a State Visit to India from 19-22 November, 2013. In a press meet ahead of his visit he said India played a “constructive role” in the disputed South China Sea region despite China’s objections to Indian involvement in the region.

“I believe that peace, stability, maritime security and cooperation for mutual benefits in the East Sea represent the essential interest of countries within and outside the region. We highly appreciate India’s constructive position on this issue,” he said.

Despite China’s objections, Vietnam has been asserting that India has the right to pursue oil exploration in South China Sea as they were within Vietnamese “exclusive economic zone”. “In the immediate term, all parties must strictly observe the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea between ASEAN and China and accelerate the development of the Code of Conducts of Parties in the South China Sea,” Nguyen said.

India’s stand is that all concerned countries should respect principles of international law in resolving the issue.

On the economic cooperation, India exports goods like pharmaceuticals, cotton and electrical machinery while imports iron, steel , vehicles and mineral fuels to Vietnam, with the bilateral trade at $4 billion in 2012. India is ASEAN’s sixth largest trading partner with $72 billion in bilateral trade, which is expected to reach $100 billion by 2015.

The General Secretary will meet the PM, President, Vice President, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Mr. Salman Khurshid and leaders of Indian political parties. The General Secretary will also visit Mumbai where he will meet the Governor.

The General Secretary will also attend an event being organised by FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM.

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