China-Vietnam meeting axed
MANILA: A scheduled meeting between the foreign ministers of China and Vietnam was cancelled on the sidelines of a regional gathering, Chinese embassy officials said, amid growing tension between the two countries over the South China Sea.
Vietnam had held out for language that noted concern about island-building and criticised militarisation in South China Sea in the communique on Sunday from Asean foreign ministers.
Vietnam has emerged as the most vocal opponent of China’s claims in the waterway.
The Chinese embassy officials gave no reason for the cancellation of the meeting scheduled for Monday here between China’s Wang Yi and Vietnam’s Pham Binh Minh.
But, state media in Vietnam said the ministers had held a “pull aside” meeting and exchanged views. It showed pictures of them shaking hands.
Although the language in the Asean communique reflected that in previous years, some countries pursuing deeper business ties with Beijing, such as Cambodia and the Philippines, had argued for dropping it. Reuters