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China, Vietnam Defuse Maritime Tensions

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

27 February 2014


China and Vietnam have agreed to strengthen maritime cooperation after locking horns on territory in the South China Sea.

The announcement came after a meeting between Chinese leader Li Keqiang and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Thien Nhan, where topics such as financial cooperation were also discussed.

Chinese media reports said the two leaders had agreed to continue work towards establishing a working group on joint maritime development. Li said that the two leaders were ready to negotiate and consult with one another on the issue of the South China Sea, "to maintain peace and stability with common efforts."

Jurisdiction over the Spratly Islands, located in the South China Sea, is claimed wholly or in part by Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia. The maritime area around the Paracel Islands, north of the Spratly Islands, has been a key source of tensions between China and Vietnam, who both claim ownership.

The recent meeting between the two nations represents a turning point for the two nations after both engaged in military posturing in disputed waters in 2011, which had prompted international concern.

TAGS: marine | Brunei | China | Philippines | Taiwan | agreements | Malaysia | Spratly Islands | Vietnam

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