China called on Vietnam for cooperation in the South China Sea to discover ways to address bilateral disputes over the region.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) meets with visiting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, October 22, 2008. Nguyen Tan Dung was here for an official visit and to attend the Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM7) scheduled for October 24-25.[Gao Jie/Xinhua]
In a meeting in Beijing with visiting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Wednesday, Chinese President Hu Jintao proposed the two neighboring countries always keep the overall situation of the bilateral relations in mind and make efforts to strengthen bilateral efforts and properly settle the issues concerning the South China Sea.
"We should make it (South China Sea) a place of peace, cooperation and friendship," Hu said.
Nguyen said Vietnam would insist on the negotiation for the peaceful and lasting resolution of the issue and reduce the differences based on mutual trust, respect and understanding.
Vietnam was willing to resolve disputes with China concerning the issue in a spirit of cooperation and brotherhood and to cement the bilateral ties in the South China Sea in fields such as oil and natural gas exploration, environmental protection, marine rescue mission and in combating against piracy, he noted.
Nguyen arrived in China on October 20 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. He will attend the Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM7) in Beijing on October 24-25.
(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2008)