The Communist Party of India (CPI) on May 31 held a meeting in New Delhi to celebrate the 124th birth anniversary of late Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and express the solidarity with the country’s party and people.

The celebration began with a film tribute to the 1954 Dien Bien Phu victory that helped end French colonial rule in Vietnam.

Secretary General of the CPI, Sudhakar Reddy, and his predecessor A.B. Bardhan, recalled fond memories of President Ho Chi Minh and India ’s late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who laid the cornerstones for the foundation of the two nation’s sustainable friendship.

Vietnamese Ambassador to India Nguyen Thanh Tan highlighted the fruitful bilateral relations over past decades as a result of the contributions made by the late leaders, which has been nurtured and strengthened by their descendants.

As two of the most dynamic economies in Asia, Vietnam and India have seen fine development in their bilateral strategic partnership, notably in politics, economics, national defence-security, education-training, and science-technology.

Last year, two-way trade was estimated at 5.3 billion USD, and it is likely to reach 7 billion USD this year, Tan said.

On the occasion, the Vietnamese diplomat told the host about the serious situation in the East Sea , following China’s illegal placement of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf since early May.

He said such behaviour has infringed international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), to which China itself is a signatory.

China has deployed a fleet of over 130 vessels and aircraft to escort the rig, directly threatening peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea.

Tan stressed Vietnam always wants peace and friendship and has exercised the utmost restraint, demonstrated goodwill and strictly used all dialogue channels to talk with Chinese authorities and ask them to remove the rig and respect international law. However, China has not yet acquiesced, Tan said.-VNA