VIENTIANE, Laos (AP) — Vietnam's deputy foreign minister says the country aims to settle its territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiations even though it doesn't rule out applying international laws, as the Philippines did in its recent arbitration victory.
Le Hoai Trung spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the sidelines of a regional meeting in Laos. He said, "For us, all means of peaceful settlement are important. All means. So you can count (international arbitration) but we attach importance to bilateral negotiations."
China claims almost all of the South China Sea, though a tribunal has rejected those claims.
Trung said Vietnam resolved border issues with Cambodia, Laos, China and Malaysia bilaterally, and there is no reason why it can't resolve the South China Sea this way.