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China expects Bangladesh, Myanmar to properly settle sea dispute
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China on Thursday suggested Bangladesh and Myanmar settle their dispute in the Bay of Bengal through equal and friendly negotiations.

China has taken note of the dispute between its two neighbors, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a press conference in Beijing.

"We hope the countries will settle it through equal and friendly negotiations and maintain a stable bilateral relationship," he said. "As their friend, China will contribute in an appropriate manner."

Bangladesh summoned Myanmar's envoy in Dhaka on Monday and also sent a delegation to Myanmar, after several Myanmar ships reportedly entered disputed seas in the Bay of Bengal.

The two countries have not agreed on their maritime border. Under UN rules, Myanmar was supposed to delimit the border before 2009 while Bangladesh had to do it before 2011.

In recent years, they held several rounds of talks on this issue, and they agreed at the latest meeting not to start oil and gas exploration in disputed areas.

(Xinhua News Agency November 6, 2008)

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