Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) receives Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung, head of the Vietnamese delegation at the negotiation, on December 13 (Photo: VNA)

Beijing (VNA) – Vietnamese officials underlined the importance of border and territorial issues to relations between Vietnam and China at the two countries’ governmental-level negotiation on border and territory in Beijing, China, on December 12-13.

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung, head of the National Boundary Commission, while the Chinese side was headed by Trung’s counterpart Liu Zhenmin.

The proper settlement of border and territorial issues will be an important foundation for enhancing the countries’ relations, Trung said, reiterating Vietnam’s consistent policy on border and territorial matters, including sea-related issues.

He also voiced concerns about recent complex developments in the East Sea.

At the meeting, participants reviewed the cooperation in resolving border and territorial issues since the last plenary negotiation in 2013.

In terms of land border, Vietnam and China have attained many positive outcomes, they said, noting that the mechanisms for border management cooperation such as the land border joint committee, border representatives and the committee on border gate management cooperation have proved effective. The countries have also made joint efforts to fight cross-border crimes.

Those outcomes have greatly helped with border management and protection, creating favourable conditions for socio-economic development in border areas, the officials said.

The two sides agreed to enhance social security and order management in border areas while effectively executing the cooperation agreement on protecting and tapping tourism resources of Ban Gioc/Detian Waterfall, and the agreement on the travel of ships at the free navigation area at the mouth of the Bac Luan/Beilun River.

They will also push ahead with the opening and upgrading of border gates along with measures to facilitate customs clearance to provide optimal conditions for developing border areas.

With regard to sea-related issues, both sides affirmed to seriously implement the important common perceptions shared between the two countries’ Party and State leaders and the Vietnam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues. They pledged to satisfactorily resolve sea-related problems, refrain from complicating the situation, control disagreements well, promote appropriate cooperation, and together maintain peace and stability at sea.

The Vietnamese and Chinese officials said their countries have implemented on schedule a cooperation project on researching the marine and island environment in the Tonkin Gulf, and another on researching and comparing Holocene-epoch sediments in the Red River and the Yangtze River basins.

They concurred in expediting talks towards the signing of cooperation agreements on releasing breeding aquatic animals in the Tonkin Gulf and on other spheres.

The two sides also agreed to firmly promote the demarcation negotiation process and cooperation for mutual development between working groups on sea-related issues. Towards this goal, Vietnam and China will bring into full play the governmental-level negotiation mechanism through annual meetings, increasing meetings between heads of the two negotiation delegations, and optimising the negotiation mechanisms between working groups on sea-related issues.

The countries will also continue to comprehensively and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and work with relevant parties on the basis of consultation and consensus to soon build a Code of Conduct in the waters (COC), the officials added.

On December 13, the Vietnamese delegation was received by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.-VNA