Vietnam PM says country not pursuing military buildup in South China Sea

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam would seek only peaceful means to solve disputes.
Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam would seek only peaceful means to solve disputes.PHOTO: REUTERS

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on Wednesday (May 25) his country was not pursuing a military buildup over the South China Sea and would seek only peaceful means to solve disputes, with no use of force.

Speaking in an interview with several foreign journalists, Phuc said the situation in the South China Sea had recently grown in complexity and Vietnam needed regional friends and strategic partners to ensure peace and no disruption of maritime trade.

Phuc, who took office last month, said a key priority for Vietnam was managing its spiralling public debt and keeping the ratio below 65 per cent of gross domestic product, and maintaining annual growth of 6.5-7 per cent.