• PH and Vietnam to hold Bilateral Cooperation

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    The Philippines and Vietnam are set to conduct its 7th Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) on August 1 in Manila, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.

    Raul Hernandez, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said in a press briefing that Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario will lead the Philippine delegation while Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh will head the Vietnamese delegation.

    Among the issues that will be discussed during the meeting are “ooperative initiatives in defense and security, maritime and ocean cooperation, trade and investments, and agriculture.”

    Hanoi and Manila have recently traded diplomatic barbs with Beijing, but Vietnam has recently inked a fisheries deal with China. It even agreed to set up a hotline that will deal with the issues both countries’ fishermen face in the disputed waters.

    Analysts said this has effectively left the Philippines alone in dealing with Asia’s economic and military giant. Historically, China has been less aggressive in pushing Vietnam to the brink of diplomatic niceties.

    Like Beijing, Hanoi is a communist nation. Both countries share the same political and social ideologies.

    Aside from discussing the progress of the bilateral relations, the meeting will also review the implementation of the Philippines-Vietnam Action Plan, a framework document which lists the initiatives to be implemented by both countries for the period 2011-2016.

    The last round of Philippines-VietNam JCBC was hosted by Vietnam in 2011.

    The JCBC is a regular consultation mechanism between the foreign ministries of the two countries to discuss bilateral and regional issues of mutual concern.

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