China urges respect on its accord with Vietnam

Updated: 2011-10-17 19:21


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BEIJING - China on Monday called for other countries to respect its agreement with Vietnam on maritime issues.

"The fact that China and Vietnam have agreed to settle maritime disputes through negotiations has nothing to do with a third party. We expect the third party to respect the efforts by the countries concerned to resolve the disputes through negotiations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a daily press briefing.

Liu's comments came after it was reported that the Philippines opposed the latest China-Vietnam joint statement and called for a multilateral approach, rather than a bilateral agreement, to resolve disputes concerning the South China Sea.

"China-Philippines maritime disputes can only be resolved through direct negotiations between China and the Philippines, a stance the Philippines is quite clear about," Liu said.

China and Vietnam reaffirmed their political will and determination to settle maritime issues through negotiations and friendly consultations and to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, according to a China-Vietnam joint statement signed on Saturday.

The two countries will step up negotiations regarding maritime issues, seek basic and long-term approaches that will be acceptable for both sides, explore interim and temporary solutions, including research and negotiations on the joint development of the sea, without impacting each side's stance and position, the statement said.

Both sides will seek steady progress in negotiations regarding the maritime demarcation of the baymouth of the Beibu Gulf and discuss the joint development of the sea area, the statement said.

"The China-Vietnam joint agreement is important for guiding the long-term healthy and stable development of bilateral relations," Liu said.

The statement reflects the determination and will of both countries to enhance friendship from a strategic height and an overall perspective, expand mutually beneficial cooperation, properly handle disputes, promote  socialist causes and safeguard regional and global peace, stability, cooperation and development, Liu said.