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China, ROK hold successful first round of talks on maritime demarcation

Updated: Dec 22,2015 9:31 PM     Xinhua

SEOUL — China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) held their first round of talks on maritime demarcation here on Dec 22 to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries on July 3, 2014 to start the talks in 2015.

Liu Zhenmin, China’s deputy foreign minister and head of the Chinese delegation, and Cho Tae-yul, ROK’s 2nd vice minister of foreign affairs and head of the ROK delegation, co-chaired the talks.

The two sides said they will hold consultations on overlapping exclusive economic zone and continental shelf claims in accordance with international laws including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and also based on the spirit of win-win, sincerity and mutual trust.

They also noted that to settle maritime demarcation in a friendly and consultative way is of great significance not only in the steady and enduring growth of bilateral ties, but also in the further promotion of maritime cooperation as well as continuous development of the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.

The two sides expounded their views on issues related to the maritime demarcation, with China stressing the importance of fishery.

During the talks, China and ROK also agreed to set up a three-tier negotiation mechanism.

The first-tier will be made up of governmental negotiation delegations with officials from foreign ministries’ department-in-charge, the second will be composed of working groups with department-level officials responsible for detailed negotiations, and the third will consist of expert groups to handle technical issues.

The second round of talks is scheduled to be held in China in 2016, and the exact date will be worked out through diplomatic consultations.

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