During Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Vietnam, the two countries reaffirmed their commitments to maintain peace and stability in Beibu Bay (the Tonkin Gulf) and the South China Sea.
In a joint communiqué released on October 8, both countries vowed to honor their commitments to the Beibu Bay Demarcation Agreement, the Beibu Bay Fishery Cooperation Agreement and the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, promising not to take any unilateral action that may complicate or exacerbate territorial disputes.
Reiterating their support for the principles of mutual understanding and compromise, the two neighbors agreed to avoid resorting to military measures or any other force or threats of force to implement claims in Beibu Bay.
The two countries signed the Beibu Bay agreements in December 2000 and they officially came into effect on June 30, 2004. China and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are signatories to the South China Sea declaration.
On maritime rights, the two countries vowed to maintain and increase the frequency of negotiations to seek a basic and long-term resolution that is acceptable to both.
Territorial disputes over the Sino-Vietnamese border consist of the demarcation of land boundaries and the Beibu Bay, as well as sovereignty of maritime rights and interests in the Nansha (Spratley) Islands and their adjacent waters. Both sides have agreed to resolve these problems through peaceful talk and consultation.
China also said that it will support Vietnam in joining the 147-member World Trade Organization and hopes to complete its negotiations with Vietnam soon, while Vietnam promised not to apply three non-beneficial provisions that China accepted for its accession into the WTO.
(China Daily October 9, 2004)