Vietnamese and Chinese officials engage in discussions regarding territorial and border matters.

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    Nov 12, 2023

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Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu and China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Sun Weidong held talks in Hanoi to discuss territorial and border matters.


Both parties expressed their satisfaction with the significant progress made in the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. This is especially notable since Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong's historic visit to China in October 2022. They have agreed to continue implementing the shared understandings established by senior leaders of both nations, with the aim of further enhancing bilateral cooperation across various sectors. Additionally, they will collaboratively prepare for the upcoming 15th meeting of the Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation, as well as other significant bilateral events leading up to the 15th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

According to legal documents, the Vietnam-China land border management and cooperation have shown positive progress. This includes the successful functioning of the Land Border Joint Committee mechanism, improved collaboration in infrastructure development and transportation connectivity in border regions, and the successful pilot operation of the Ban Gioc – Detian waterfalls. These efforts highlight their commitment to establishing a secure and appealing tourist destination, ultimately making significant contributions to the socio-economic growth of border areas.

Both parties have made a commitment to maintain a strong collaborative effort in border management and protection. This dedication is in accordance with three legal documents pertaining to the land border between the two nations, as well as relevant agreements.

They have made a commitment to effectively collaborate in the opening, upgrading, and recognition of border gates. They will also implement measures to facilitate customs clearance and promote cultural and commercial exchanges in border areas. The ultimate goal is to establish a peaceful, friendly, stable, cooperative, and prosperous border region. Regarding maritime issues, they engaged in open discussions about recent developments in the East Sea. Both parties emphasized the significance of faithfully implementing the common perceptions of their senior leaders and the Agreement on basic principles for resolving sea-related matters between Vietnam and China, which was established in 2011. They expressed their determination to work together in maintaining peace, stability, practicing self-restraint, and preventing any further complications in the maritime situation.

The proposal from the Vietnamese side emphasizes the importance of mutual respect for each other's legitimate rights and interests. It calls for collaborative efforts to effectively manage differences, ensuring open and constructive dialogue on matters related to maritime issues. The objective is to actively seek a comprehensive and lasting solution in alignment with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Both parties expressed their satisfaction with the advancements made in collaborative projects focusing on less delicate areas. These include initiatives such as the successful release of fish fries and efforts to safeguard aquatic resources in the Gulf of Tonkin. Additionally, two cooperative agreements were signed regarding joint endeavors in monitoring and addressing geological challenges in the Red River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta. Furthermore, there was significant progress in the integrated management of the marine and island environment within the Gulf of Tonkin.

Furthermore, both parties have reached a consensus to expedite the negotiation process pertaining to the demarcation of waters outside the Gulf of Tonkin's entrance. They have also committed to finalizing necessary formalities and progressing towards the signing of agreements concerning the creation of a hotline to address potential issues arising from fishing activities within the waters of Vietnam and China. Additionally, the two nations have agreed to collaborate on search and rescue operations, further promoting maritime cooperation in less volatile regions.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son recently held a reception for Vice Foreign Minister Sun, wherein he proposed enhanced collaboration between their respective ministries. The minister emphasized the need for thorough preparations in order to facilitate upcoming exchange activities between the two countries.

Son emphasized the necessity for both ministries to proactively implement innovative strategies and encourage effective collaboration in different sectors, with a particular focus on economy, trade, infrastructure, and the enhancement of railway and road connectivity. These efforts will ultimately contribute to the seamless exchange of individuals residing in border regions.

He stated that it is important to prioritize the enhancement of coordination in land border management, effectively manage discrepancies at sea, and actively foster friendly and cooperative relations between Vietnam and China.

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