Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has underscored that along with the protection of national sovereignty from China, ministries and local government agencies need to ensure that socio-economic development targets set earlier are completed, regardless of tensions in the East Sea.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung chairs the cabinet's May meeting (Photo: VNA)|
Chairing the cabinet’s monthly meeting on May 29 in Hanoi, PM Dung specified that it is crucial to focus on removing difficulties for business, while improving the investment environment and implementing the equitisation of some state-owned enterprises.
Emphasising the need to maintain macro-economic stability, PM Dung tasked ministries and authorised agencies to better control the gold and foreign currency markets to avoid fluctuation and increase the provision of credits for small and medium-sized, labour-intensive and export businesses.
More efficient control over the market, especially the price of milk, as well as the prevention of the smuggling and trading of fake commodities are also important tasks, he said.
The Prime Minister also assessed the country’s socio-economic performance in May and the first five months of this year, proclaiming that positive progress has been made.
A report at the meeting showed that the consumer price index during the month rose 0.2 percent over April and 4.72 percent year on year.
Meanwhile, the country’s total exports in the January-May period reached approximately 58.5 billion USD, an increase of 15.4 percent over the same period last year, while imports were 56.86 billion USD, up 9.6 percent, said the report.
In the first five months, the country recorded a 1.65 billion USD trade surplus, equivalent to 2.8 percent of the total imports, it said.
Industrial production index in the period also saw a growth of 5.6 percent, higher than the 4.9 percent recorded in the same period last year, added the report.
At the meeting, the cabinet members held that the escalating tension in the East Sea have posed certain limitations on the country’s socio-economic development.
The recent disturbances caused by some individuals taking advantage of anti-Chinese protests to damage the property of enterprises, including FDI firms, negatively affected the confidence of investors, they asserted.
However, they pointed out that with the drastic and timely response of the government as well as ministries and localities, the situation has been stabilised, helping the affected firms resume their normal operations.
Ministries and localities have seriously and effectively realised the instructions of the government to support the affected enterprises in terms of tax, land rent, customs procedures and human resources, they said, noting that currently the firms have restored their production.
According to Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang, trade activities between Vietnam and China have been maintain at their normal level, while projects involving Chinese investors and contractors have progressed without being affected by the incident.
He proposed that along with protecting the national sovereignty over seas and islands, Vietnam should continue to maintain its economic, trade and investment partnership with China .
Meanwhile, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Nguyen Van Binh reported that banking activities have seen positive progress, with the system security ensured.
Foreign-invested banks, including those from China, continued raising their strong commitments and desire to expand their long-term business in Vietnam, he added.
At the same time, Deputy PMs Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Hoang Trung Hai said it is necessary to continue ensuring social order and safety in the affected localities and supporting local firms, while staying proactive in providing the media with full and objective information on the East Sea issue.
Vietnam’s response to China’s East Sea provocations
Regarding the East Sea issue, PM Dung stated that China’s blatant and illegal placement of the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone is an extremely serious violation of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), to which China is a signatory.
"This act has been directly threatening peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea,” he affirmed.
In the face of this situation, the Party, State and people have resolutely safeguarded the national sovereignty by peaceful means in line with international law, he said.
According to the Government leader, the entire Vietnamese nation expressed anger at and strongly condemned China’s aggressive actions. However, in some localities, there appeared spontaneous demonstrations and some people were even incited to break the law and destroy the assets of businesses, including foreign ones.
Authorised agencies took timely measures to quickly end the disorder and will prevent any repeat of similar cases. They have also provided proper support and assistance for damaged enterprises, helping their operations resume as soon as possible.
PM Dung said through diplomatic channels over nearly a month Vietnam established contact with Chinese leaders at all levels 30 times to let them know their wrongdoing and show Vietnam’s determination in resolutely demanding that they immediately withdraw the illegal oil rig from Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.
Meanwhile, Vietnam has maintained its law enforcement forces and fishing vessels in the area where China ’s rig is illegally standing, he said.
At the same time, the country has also increased information campaigns to help Vietnamese people and the international public understand China ’s illegal acts in the Vietnamese waters, he added.
“These activities reflect our determination to firmly demand China move its rig out of Vietnamese waters as well as our goodwill to peacefully settle this issue in accordance with international law,” the PM stressed.
Vietnam’s measures against China have received consensus among the people. Many countries throughout the globe raised their voice in support of Vietnam ’s just response and criticised China’s wrongful actions that violated international law. So far, no leader of any country has declared that China’s act is right, the PM said.
PM Dung reiterated that Vietnam’s policy is to continue pursuing the struggle in the field to assert the national sovereignty over its waters in line with international law by maintaining coast guard and fisheries surveillance forces and fishing vessels, requesting China to immediately withdraw its illegal rig from Vietnam ’s exclusive economic zone.
Vietnam will persist with the diplomatic struggle to protect the sacred sovereignty of the nation by peaceful means. A legal lawsuit against China regarding the illegal rig placement will be considered to conform with international law.
Vietnam will also continue providing the world public and community with information on China’s perverse actions in an honest and objective manner through various channels, he said.
In addition, the country will do its utmost to preserve its friendship with China in other fields, ensuring a normal bilateral relationship, he said, adding that it will also boost economic, trade and investment cooperation with China for the interests of both sides, and at the same time, work out measures to cope with possible unfavourable fluctuations in the economic ties between the two countries.
Later the same day, the Government Office held a press conference to inform of the outcomes of the monthly meeting and the Prime Minister’s instructions on economic, trade, investment and tourism cooperation with China.
It said that in the era of globalisation and intensive integration, Vietnam has pursued a policy of enhancing equal and mutually beneficial economic, trade and investment ties with China.
The country is also implementing economic restructuring, expanding markets and negotiating many new cooperation frameworks, including free trade agreements with major partners across the world.
The expansion and diversification of markets and the strengthening of economic, trade and investment collaborations with all partners throughout the globe aim to reduce risks from its dependence on any particular market, helping the Vietnamese economy develop in a stable and sustainable manner.