Leaders in agreement over border demarcation
By Le Tian (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-08-23 06:05

China and Viet Nam agreed yesterday to handle the border issue properly and on the basis of friendly consultation so that the demarcation can be completed in 2008.

The consensus was reached during talks between President Hu Jintao and visiting Viet Nam Communist Party chief Nong Duc Manh in Beijing.

China is ready to work with the Vietnamese side to speed up surveying and determining the land boundary, and steadily push for the demarcation of sea territory outside Beibu Gulf and negotiations on the common development of the area, Hu told his Vietnamese guest.

Nong arrived in Beijing yesterday on a five-day official visit to China.

Referring to Nong as "comrade", Hu appreciated Nong's choice of China as his first overseas trip since he was re-elected as general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV) in April.

"This fully demonstrates that Nong and the CPV Central Committee attach great importance to developing Sino-Vietnamese relations," Hu said.

Responding to Hu, who is also the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Nong said he is confident about the prospects of friendship between China and Viet Nam.

He reiterated his government's "one-China" policy, saying Viet Nam opposes any form of Taiwan independence.

Both also agreed to increase long-term co-operation in the fields of energy, resources, transportation and other infrastructural projects, and further expand bilateral trade.

"China supports its enterprises with strength and good reputation investing in Viet Nam and offers credit support for co-operative projects with good economic and social returns," Hu said.

Speaking highly of China's role in regional and international affairs, Nong said the partnership between China and Viet Nam contributes to peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large.

The rapid development of China-Viet Nam relations in recent years has been fostered by frequent high-level contact and visits by the leaders of the two nations.

After the two premiers exchanged visits in 2004, the presidents of the two countries also realized successful visits last year.

Bilateral economic and trade co-operation has also expanded quickly, and China became Viet Nam's largest trade partner in 2004.

Bilateral trade volume reached more than US$8 billion last year, and at the end of this year it is expected to top US$10 billion, a target volume that was set by the two premiers in 2004 to be achieved in 2010.

(China Daily 08/23/2006 page2)