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Vietnam says it will not join any anti-China alliance

VIETNAM said ahead of a visit from US Vice-President Kamala Harris today that it would not be dragged into any anti-China alliance in the Far East.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh met Chinese envoy Xiong Bo and stressed that differences over maritime rights would not see Vietnam abandon an independent foreign policy rooted in support for multilateralism.

Vietnam would work to build trust, exchanges and co-operation with China, Mr Pham said.

He added that he hoped China would work through the Association of South-East Asian Nations to work out codes of conduct in disputed waters.

Mr Xiong said Vietnam and China shared communist political systems and beliefs and should work together. 

The US has military bases in many of China’s neighbours including Japan and South Korea, and has worked to build a new alliance known as the Quad with India, Australia and Japan to encircle China.

Ms Harris said today she hoped Vietnam would appreciate a greater US naval presence along Asia’s coasts to protect it from Chinese “bullying.”

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