CHINA and Vietnam announced their joint commitment today to negotiating maritime disputes to avoid a recurrence of tensions sparked by Beijing’s deployment of an oil rig in waters claimed by Hanoi.
The statement followed talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vietnamese special envoy Le Hong Anh to resolve a crisis in relations dating from May.
China’s move triggered fury in Hanoi, but Beijing rejected Vietnamese complaints and pulled the rig out on its own terms in July.
Friendship between China and Vietnam was created and nourished by older generations of leaders, state broadcaster CCTV quoted President Xi as saying.
“While clashes are inevitable between neighbours, what’s crucial is how they are handled and what kind of attitude is taken,” he said.
Both sides undertook to work toward a mutually acceptable and durable solution.
They also agreed to research joint development in the disputed area of the South China Sea, not take actions to complicate or broaden the dispute and to “maintain stability of the overall China-Vietnam relationship and of the South China Sea,” said Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
China attacked Vietnam in 1979 to punish it for responding to military provocation from Cambodia’s Pol Pot genocidal regime that was backed by both Beijing and Washington at the time.
The two have since fought over island groups in the South China Sea. They settled their land border more than a decade ago but remain at odds over maritime claims.
This summer’s feuding was the worst in years, setting off deadly anti-Chinese riots across Vietnam.