Respect our accord with Vietnam, China tells other nations

October 17th, 2011 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Oct 17 (IANS) China Monday called on 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 spokesperson Liu Weimin said at a press briefing.

Liu’s comments came after it was reported that the Philippines had 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,” Xinhua quoted Liu as saying.

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 Saturday.

The two countries will step up negotiations on 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 added.

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, it 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, and safeguard regional and global peace, stability, cooperation and development, Liu said.

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