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Joint Exploration of South China Sea Agreed

Premier Wen Jiabao and his Vietnamese counterpart Phan Van Khai agreed in Kunming Monday that the two countries, together with the Philippines, should jointly explore and develop the disputed areas on the South China Sea.  

During a meeting with Phan on the sidelines of the second summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation in this capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, Wen said he hoped that oil companies from the three countries would start joint prospecting on the South China Sea as soon as possible.


Phan responded that Vietnam would work together with China and the Philippines to promote the development of the three-nation joint exploration.


The Vietnamese prime minister also said that his country is ready to enhance consultation and cooperation with China on border issues.


During the meeting, Wen told the Vietnamese leader that as good neighbors, China and Vietnam share extensive common interests and therefore have a sound basis of cooperation.


He said the further enhancement of friendly relations between China and Vietnam is in compliance with the fundamental interests of the two countries and is also conducive to peace and stability in the region.


Both sides should further strengthen political mutual trust and carry out mutually beneficial cooperation in an all around manner, the premier said.


He also called for expanded cooperation with Vietnam in major infrastructure construction projects and in tapping resources, especially in the exploration of mineral resources and power plant construction.


China supports Vietnam's bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wen.


Phan said Vietnam is satisfied with the smooth development of relations with China, adding that Vietnamese President Tran Tuc Luong would visit China soon to mark the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.


He said Vietnam hopes that the close exchanges between leaders of the two countries will help further friendly and cooperative relations, thus contributing to peace and development in the region.


Thanking China for supporting Vietnam's entry to the WTO, Phan said that Vietnam attaches great importance to its economic and trade cooperation with China.


He expressed the hope that the two countries would soon reach agreements on cooperative projects in sectors of iron and steel, electronics, chemical fertilizers and mineral resources exploration.


The prime minister also hoped China will import more from Vietnam.


(Xinhua News Agency July 5, 2005)

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