China, ROK to start maritime demarcation talks

Updated: 2014-07-03 22:23

By Wu Jiao in Seoul and Li Xiaokun in Beijing (

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China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) announced on Thursday they aim to launch maritime demarcation talks in 2015.

The decision was released in a joint declaration issued after President Xi Jinping and his ROK counterpart Park Geun-hye held a press conference in Seoul.

The two countries have overlapping claims concerning exclusive economic zones.

Xi and Park agreed during the latter's visit to Beijing in June last year that they would aim to restart negotiations within the shortest possible delay.

A joint communique issued by the two countries during Park's visit said maritime demarcation is of great importance for bilateral ties and maritime cooperation.

Seoul's Yonhap News Agency quoted a government source as saying that senior diplomats from China and the ROK met in Seoul on June 13 to talk about maritime demarcation – but they failed to reach an agreement.

It was the first such meeting in three years.

China's Foreign Ministry maintains that ownership of Suyan Rock - located in waters claimed by both China and the ROK as exclusive economic zones - should be determined through bilateral negotiation.

The ministry said China and the ROK have reached a consensus that Suyan Rock does not have territorial status, and the two sides can thus be said to have no territorial disputes.