Vietnamese and Chinese scholars converged in a seminar in the northern province of Quang Ninh on May 11 to look at improving Vietnam-China cooperation in the Gulf of Tonkin, where fishery resources are declining due to overexploitation and pollution.

Added to the threat is the risk of hijacking, smuggling and cross-border crime, emphasised event participants.

Since the Vietnam-China Agreement on Maritime Boundary Delimitation in the Gulf of Tonkin and the Fishery Cooperation Agreement in the Gulf of Tonkin took effect, bilateral coordination in the area has progressed positively, said Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) Dang Dinh Quy.

Attendees concurred that the agreements have created an international legal framework for each country to protect, manage, use and develop marine-based economies in the area.

They called for strengthening consultation mechanisms to address fishery issues and protect the marine environment in the Gulf.

Joint patrols and information exchanges should be intensified and funding for joint projects at sea should be raised.

They said localities around the Gulf should observe international regulations in the environment, trade, tourism, maritime transport and search-and-rescue.

The workshop, co-hosted by the DAV and the East Sea Research Foundation, attracted over 70 scholars, including 18 Chinese.-VNA