Talks with Viet­nam boost co­op­er­a­tion

Bei­jing, Hanoi agree to con­tinue joint pa­trols and to im­ple­ment fish­ery, gas and oil projects

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By MO JINGXI mo­jingxi@chi­

China and Viet­nam are speed­ing up their mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion de­spite some set­backs, and this will help en­hance mu­tual trust for re­solv­ing dis­putes, ex­perts said.

Chi­nese and Viet­namese govern­ment del­e­ga­tions, led by Chi­nese Vice-For­eign Min­is­ter Liu Zhen­min and Viet­namese Deputy Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs Le Hoai Trung, met on Mon­day in Bei­jing for bor­der and mar­itime boundary ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Dur­ing their talks, the two sides agreed to im­ple­ment co­op­er­a­tive projects on fish­eries and on oil and gas ex­plo­ration in Beibu Bay and to con­tinue con­duct­ing joint pa­trols by the two navies and coast guards, in or­der to main­tain the peace and sta- bil­ity of the sea area.

They also reaf­firmed that they will con­tinue to im­ple­ment the con­sen­sus reached by the two coun­tries — that mar­itime dis­putes should be re­solved through ne­go­ti­a­tions and peace­ful con­sul­ta­tions — and steadily push for­ward bor­der and mar­itime boundary ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The two coun­tries con­ducted ac­tiv­i­ties in Beibu Bay with­out con­flict un­til the 1970s, when they made over­lap­ping mar­itime claims.

Since then, Viet­nam be­gan to il­le­gally oc­cupy Chi­nese reefs in the South China Sea, and dis­putes have been con­stant be­tween the two coun­tries on land fron­tiers, Beibu Bay and the Nan­sha Is­lands.

The two coun­tries started their first round of bor­der ne­go­ti­a­tions in 1993, and more than a dozen rounds of ne­go­ti­a­tions have been held. In 2000, China de­mar­cated its boundary with Viet­nam in Beibu Bay.

Pan Jin’e, an ex­pert on Viet­namese stud­ies at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, said the meet­ing re­flects the two coun­tries’ lat­est ef­fort to push for­ward their mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion de­spite dif­fer­ences.

Ac­cord­ing to Pan, the two coun­tries may boost co­op­er­a­tion on fish­eries, joint de­vel­op­ment and pa­trols next year.

Nie Hui­hui, an ex­pert on Viet­namese stud­ies at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, said such co­op­er­a­tion will in­crease mu­tual trust, lay­ing a foun­da­tion for re­solv­ing dis­putes.

“How­ever, Viet­nam should ex­er­cise re­straint and avoid ac­tiv­i­ties that may harm bi­lat­eral ties,” she said.

On Fri­day, Viet­nam was re­port­edly dredg­ing a new chan­nel on a Chi­nese reef in the South China Sea. Since Au­gust, it has stepped up ef­forts to for­tify sev­eral reefs that it il­le­gally oc­cu­pies

Santa Kiwi (Poon Sin-man), sit­ting on the shoul­ders of her com­pe­ti­tion part­ner Santa Ap­ple (Qi Xiao­jie), stacks parcels dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at Park Cen­tral in Tse­ung Kwan O on Tues­day. The duo won the sec­ond run­ner-up at the Santa Win­ter Games in Swe­den on Satur­day.

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