WEF: Vietnam warns China’s actions could impact regional economies

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung speaks during the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Manila on May 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung speaks during the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Manila on May 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

Vietnam warned on Thursday that instability created by China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea will have an “unforeseeable impact on regional economies”.

In a speech delivered at the World Economic Forum on East Asia, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the volatile situation in the South China Sea “may even reverse global economic recovery”.

The Vietnamese leader chided China for refusing to withdraw a giant deepwater oil rig which Chinese state-owned firm CNOOC towed less than 300km from Vietnam’s shores, and for rebuffing Hanoi’s efforts to negotiate to resolve the impasse.

China, he said, has instead been “slandering and blaming Vietnam while continuing to use force and serious acts of intimidation”.

Vietnam and the Philippines on Wednesday agreed to forge a "roadmap" to a strategic defence alliance, as they expressed "deep concerns" over the recent actions by China that have "seriously threatened peace" in the region.

Speaking at a joint news conference, Mr Dung said he and Philippine President Benigno Aquino share the deep concerns over the current “extremely dangerous situation caused by China's many actions" and were determined to oppose Chinese incursions into their maritime territories.

He called on Asean and the international community to "continue strongly condemning" China.

The two leaders said their countries were working on a "roadmap towards a strategic partnership" to address the security challenges.

rdancel@sph.com