Na­tions vow to keep sea sta­bi­lized

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By HU YONGQI in Bei­jing huy­ongqi@chi­

China and Viet­nam pledged on Mon­day to prop­erly man­age dif­fer­ences over the South China Sea and to strengthen mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion to en­hance bi­lat­eral ties.

The pledge was made on Mon­day when Premier Li Ke­qiang met with vis­it­ing Viet­namese Prime Min­is­ter Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

De­spite in­creas­ing bi­lat­eral trade, Bei­jing and Hanoi have com­pet­ing claims over some is­lands of the South China Sea.

Phuc is lead­ing an un­prece­dent­edly large del­e­ga­tion of 132 mem­bers to Bei­jing dur­ing a six-day trip, his first to China as prime min­is­ter af­ter a lead­er­ship reshuf­fle in Viet­nam in July.

The South China Sea is­sue con­cerns China’s ter­ri­to­rial sovereignty and mar­itime rights, and both coun­tries should work to­gether to safe­guard sta­bil­ity at sea by man­ag­ing dif­fer­ences and pro­mot­ing mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion, Premier Li told Phuc.

China is will­ing to strengthen strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tions and high-level ex­changes as well as ex­pand peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes with Viet­nam, Li said. He added that he hoped both sides could link their de­vel­op­ment strate­gies, ad­vance co­op­er­a­tion at sea, on land and in fi­nance, and en­hance prac­ti­cal co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous fields.

Phuc said Viet­nam will prop­erly han­dle mar­itime dif­fer­ences to solve the is­sue in a peace­ful way, boost mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion in less-sen­si­tive fields and main­tain sta­bil­ity at sea. He also said the South­east Asian coun­try will strengthen po­lit­i­cal trust, keep high-level ex­changes and boost prac­ti­cal co­op­er­a­tion with China.

Af­ter their meet­ing, the two coun­tries signed nine agree­ments to boost co­op­er­a­tion in such fields as pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity, in­fra­struc­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, cross-bor­der trade and cli­mate change.

Last week, China and 10 mem­bers of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions re­leased doc­u­ments to

ap­ply the Code for Un­planned En­coun­ters at Sea to the South China Sea and to es­tab­lish a se­nior diplo­mats’ hot­line for mar­itime emer­gen­cies.

The agree­ments were signed af­ter the 19th ASEAN-China Lead­ers’ Meet­ing in Vi­en­tiane, the cap­i­tal of Laos.

China and Viet­nam will man­age dif­fer­ences over the South China Sea in ac­cor­dance with agree­ments that both sides signed a few years ago and the UN Con­ven­tion of the Law of the Sea, Vice-For­eign Min­is­ter Liu Zhen­min said.

Phuc said Viet­nam main­tains that mar­itime dis­putes should be solved peace­fully through ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Phuc ar­rived in Bei­jing on Mon­day af­ter at­tend­ing the open­ing cer­e­mony of the 13th China-ASEAN Expo on Sun­day in Nan­ning, cap­i­tal of the Guangxi Zhuang au­tonomous re­gion.

Phuc will head for Hong Kong on Wed­nes­day af­ter meet­ing with five mem­bers of China’s top lead­er­ship, Liu said.

From Jan­uary to July, the trade vol­ume be­tween the two neigh­bors reached $52 bil­lion and is ex­pected to ex­ceed $100 bil­lion this year.


Premier Li Ke­qiang wel­comes vis­it­ing Viet­namese Prime Min­is­ter Nguyen Xuan Phuc in frong of the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing on Mon­day.

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