The two countries held online the 13th round of negotiations regarding the seas beyond the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin and the 10th round of consultation on cooperation for mutual benefit at sea on Wednesday, according to a Thursday press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
They agreed to boost negotiations on the delimitation of sea areas beyond the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin as planned, and to discuss cooperation and mutual development in the East Sea to proceed as per international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to which both are signatories.
The two sides also discussed recent situations in the East Sea and agreed on abiding by the “Agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea issues,” restraining from activities that would complicate the situation and maintaining peace and stability in the region.
The next rounds of negotiations regarding the seas beyond the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin and consultations on cooperation for mutual development at sea will be held at an appropriate time, both sides agreed.
Vietnam and China had finished negotiations on the delimitation of areas within the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin and signed a maritime delimitation agreement in 2000.
Experts said the Agreement on the Delimitation of the Tonkin Gulf and the Tonkin Gulf Fishery Cooperation Agreement between the two countries have determined clear boundaries and created convenient international legal framework for each to protect, manage, utilize and develop economies in their sea areas and continental shelves within the Gulf of Tonkin.
Vietnam and China began negotiations for the delimitation of sea areas beyond the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin in 2012. They have agreed to continue the discussions twice a year.
The two sides have agreed to negotiate step-by-step, quickly perform joint surveillance, create a basis for the promotion of delimitation negotiations for sea areas beyond the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin and cooperate to mutually develop in the area.
The East Sea is known internationally as the South China Sea.