China and Vietnam announced a peace agreement Wednesday, marking an effort to ease tensions following disputes over maritime territory in the South China Sea, the official Xinua news reported.
The disputes should be settled peacefully through “negotiations and friendly consultations,” according to the agreement reached during the China visit of Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party.
“No action should be taken to complicate or exacerbate the maritime dispute before a final solution is reached,” Hu said when meeting with Trong, “Instead, the two sides should settle the problem in a cool-headed and constructive way,” according to Xinhua.
The two sides also agreed to set up a hotline to property deal with maritime issues and pledged to promote maritime cooperation in “less sensitive fields” such as environmental protection and scientific research.
Tensions between China and Vietnam, as well as some other South Asian nations over the South China Sea linger as the nations all lay claim to some islands and reefs in area believed to hold vast deposits of oil and natural gas.
Vietnamese navy staged a military drill at Nansha Islands on South China Sea this June, escalating tensions in the disputed region.
The following is the full text of the agreement:
The delegation of the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the delegation of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam agree that the satisfactory settlement of sea-related issues between China and Vietnam is suitable for the basic interests and common aspirations of the two countries’ people and helpful for regional peace, stability, co-operation and development. The two sides agree, on the basis of common perceptions of the Chinese and Vietnamese leaders reached on sea-related issues and “The 1993 Agreement on Basic Principles for the Settlement of Border Territory Issues between the People’s Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”, to solve sea-related issues pursuant to the following principles:
1. Taking the general situation of the two countries’ relationship as the key, originating from a strategic and overall attitude under the guidance of the motto, “Friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive co-operation, long-term stability and looking towards the future” and the spirit of “Good neighbours, good friends, good comrades and good partners”, and persistently pursuing friendly talks and negotiations to properly settle sea-related issues, thus making the East Sea a territory of peace, friendship and co-operation and contributing to the development of the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, as well as to regional peace and stability.
2. In the spirit of fully respecting legal evidence regarding other relevant factors such as history, and at the same time taking into account each other’s reasonable concerns with a constructive attitude and an attempt to expand common perceptions, narrow differences and continuously accelerate negotiations. Based on a legal regime and principles defined by international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the two sides shall make efforts to seek basic and long-term solutions acceptable to both sides for sea-related disputes.
3. In negotiations on sea-related issues, the two sides shall seriously abide by agreements and common perceptions reached by their high-ranking leaders and seriously implement the principles and spirit of the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea ” (DOC).
For sea-related disputes between China and Vietnam, the two sides shall solve them through friendly talks and negotiations. Disputes relating to other countries shall be settled through negotiations with other concerned parties.
4. In the process of seeking basic and long-term solutions for sea-related issues, in the spirit of mutual respect, equal and mutually beneficial treatment, the two sides actively discuss transitional and temporary measures that do not affect the stances and policies of the two sides, including studies and discussions on cooperation for mutual development based on principles described in Article 2 of this Agreement.
5. Addressing sea-related issues in succession and progress with easy issues first and difficult issues later. Firmly speeding up the demarcation of territorial waters off the Tonkin Gulf and actively discussing co-operation for mutual development on these waters. Actively boosting co-operation in less sensitive fields, such as sea-related environment protection, sea-related science research, search and rescue at sea, and prevention and minimisation of damage caused by natural disasters. Attempting to enhance mutual trust to facilitate the settlement of more difficult issues.
6. The two sides in turn conduct periodical meetings between heads of government-level border negotiation delegations twice a year and extraordinary meetings if necessary. The two sides agree to set up a hotline mechanism between the government-level delegations to exchange and properly deal with sea-related issues in a timely manner.
- China and Vietnam Move to Reduce Tensions in South China Sea (nytimes.com)
- China, Vietnam sign deal to resolve sea dispute (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Japan’s South China Sea trip: Who will weeping? (thuytinhvo.wordpress.com)