China and Vietnam have agreed to handle maritime disputes through dialogue, Chinese state media reported yesterday, months after ties between the two countries hit a three-decade low in a row over a Chinese oil rig in disputed waters.
The two neighbors must respect each other and focus on long-term interests, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) said, according Xinhua news agency.
“Sino-Vietnamese relations have been advancing continuously since the two nations established diplomatic relations, despite some twists and turns,” he said.
Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang said his country was ready to “properly deal with maritime issues through friendly consultation so that the issues will not affect its relations with China,” Xinhua said.
Sang said Vietnam was ready to step up high-level contacts and non-government swaps to strengthen its links with China.
The two leaders met on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Beijing.
The two nations agreed to “address and control” maritime disputes, Xinhua reported last month, in the wake of the row sparked by China’s May 2 deployment of a US$1 billion oil rig to disputed waters that straddle a key shipping lane.
Defense leaders from the two countries held talks last month in Beijing, and both sides agreed to “gradually resume” military ties, Xinhua reported.
Vietnam has reacted with alarm at China’s military rise and increasingly assertive posture, broadening military ties with the US as well as with Cold War-era patron Russia.
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