World / China-Vietnam

China, Vietnam agree on joint inspections

By XING ZHIGANG/CHEN MENGWEI (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-07 07:51

Beibu consensus 'an important threshold' in maritime cooperation

China, Vietnam agree on joint inspections

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the Parliament House in Hanoi on Nov 6, 2015. [Photo by Pang Xinglei/Xinhua]

China and Vietnam agreed to launch joint maritime inspections outside the mouth of the Beibu Gulf in December, "an important threshold" for further cooperation.

The countries also plan to promote negotiations concerning demarcation of waters in the same area, and foster the joint development of these waters, according to a joint statement released on Friday during President Xi Jinping's state visit to Vietnam.

The Beibu Gulf is a partially encircled bay surrounded by Chinese and Vietnamese territories and a traditional fishery area whose delineation remains under negotiation.

China and Vietnam said they will seek basic and long-term solutions through friendly negotiations, and actively look for transitional solutions acceptable to both sides, including joint development.

Both nations also agreed to manage maritime disputes, effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and seek to reach a code of conduct as soon as possible.

They vowed not to take actions that might enlarge or complicate disputes.

Before going to Singapore, Xi promoted the building of a "community of destiny" with Vietnam by enhancing bilateral, economic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges as he addressed the National Assembly of Vietnam on further promoting relations, which he said were of "strategic importance".

Xi said the two nations' economies are tightly linked and highly complementary.

Both nations also agreed to link the Beijing-initiated Belt and Road Initiative with Hanoi's development strategy of Two Corridors and One Economic Circle and to enhance capacity cooperation in building materials, auxiliary industries, equipment manufacturing, electricity and recyclable energy. They aim to increase the bilateral trade volume to $100 billion in 2017.

"China and Vietnam are joined by mountains and water, and the friendship between our two peoples goes back to ancient times," Xi said. "In the struggle for national independence and liberation we fought side by side and supported each other, forming a tight friendship."

China and Vietnam enjoy common interests, and friendly cooperation has always been the mainstream of bilateral relations, Xi said.

Jia Duqiang, an expert on Southeast Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the Beibu Gulf cooperation will "set a good example" to all parties involved in the South China Sea issue.

"It demonstrates that, despite all the differences, there is still space and possibility for good cooperation," Jia said. "Of course the matter cannot be solved overnight, but this is a good beginning toward the right path."

Jia said Xi's speech laid a solid foundation for bilateral relations, setting a tone of "friendship, cooperation and development".

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