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Vietnam, China to better manage maritime disputes

Vietnam, China to better manage maritime disputes

Thursday, September 15, 2016, 19:13 GMT+7

Vietnam and China have agreed to effectively address their differences over the East Vietnam Sea to maintain peace in the seaway and the development of the two countries’ relationship.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc joined talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang in Beijing on Monday afternoon, within the framework of his official visit to China from September 10 to 15.

According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two leaders reached consensus on enhancing the China-Vietnam relationship, strategic exchanges, and political trust among others.

PM Phuc suggested several major measures and visions, including the better management of disputes at sea, the preservation of maritime peace and stability, and the reinforcement of the ties between the two Parties and nations.

Regarding the East Vietnam Sea situation, the Vietnamese head of government reiterated Hanoi’s consistent stance on the amicable settlement of disputes, respecting diplomatic and legal processes and international law, namely the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

He asked both sides to strictly comply with the agreements and common perceptions reached by the two countries’ leaders, including the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues. 

The legitimate interests of each side should be safeguarded, Phuc continued, adding that actions that complicate the current situation must be avoided.

Further coordination with other ASEAN member states should be included to comprehensively and effectively realize the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC) and to establish a Code of Conduct (COC) for the seaway in 2017.

ASEAN is short for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is a political and economic organization whose members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Replying to his guest, Premier Li stated that China would exert all efforts to work with Vietnam in the effective control of maritime disputes, for the sake of the two countries’ relationship, and peace and stability in the East Vietnam Sea.

Beijing prioritized the development of its rapport with Hanoi and will follow the motto of friendly neighborliness and comprehensive cooperation with the Southeast Asian country, the Chinese leader added.    

In terms of economic cooperation, PM Phuc stressed the resolution of existing problems in collaboration with Vietnamese and Chinese businesses to promote ties in economic matters, trade, and investment. 

He sought the assistance of China in balancing bilateral trade and more opportunities for Vietnamese exports, primarily agricultural products and processed foods, to enter the Chinese market.

Vietnam would expedite projects connecting the framework of “two corridors, one belt” with the appropriate contents in the “one corridor, one road” initiative, the leader said.

Both nations should further cooperate in regulating the water resources in the Mekong Delta, he added.

Following their meeting, the two parties attended a ceremony to sign nine important agreements, marking cooperation in trade, infrastructure, technology, education, and others.

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