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China, Vietnam to properly handle sensitive bilateral issues

Updated: Jun 18,2014 5:34 PM     Xinhua

HANOI - China and Vietnam on June 18 agreed to properly handle the sensitive issues in bilateral ties to avoid hurting the overall relationship between the two countries.

The Chinese government and the Communist Party of China always attach great importance to China-Vietnam relations from a strategic long-term perspective, and are willing to work with the Vietnamese government and party to jointly promote a healthy and stable comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, visiting Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said while meeting Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

Yang was here to attend the annual China-Vietnam Steering Committee on Cooperation, which was held in Beijing last year.

The relationship had been strained recently due to Vietnam continuously and illegally disturbing oil rig operations in adjacent sea areas of Xisha Islands, Yang said, stressing the Xisha Islands were China’s inherent territory, free of any dispute.

Oil exploration by a Chinese company in sea areas around the islands is a natural continuation of exploration activities that have taken place for a decade, which was completely legal, reasonable and sensible, he said.

China would take all necessary measures to protect national sovereignty and maritime rights, as well as ensuring the safe and smooth running of the oil exploration, he said.

For the current maritime issue, Yang said the two sides should avoid making it amplified, complicated and internationalized.

Yang urged Vietnam to stop disturbing the Chinese operations at sea, inflating differences, or creating new disputes, saying the country should properly handle the aftermath of the serious violence, vandalism and arson in mid-May, referring to riots in Vietnam targeting Chinese-owned businesses.

The Chinese state councilor called on Vietnam to take effective measures to protect Chinese individuals and organizations in Vietnam, create necessary conditions and atmosphere for both sides to solve the issues and quickly bring bilateral cooperation back to normal in all fields.

Yang expressed the hope that Vietnam, together with China, would overcome difficulties and push forward China-Vietnam relations along the right track.

Minh said Vietnam always cherishes the traditional relations between the two countries and hopes to maintain and promote bilateral cooperation in various fields.

Vietnam is willing to work with China to improve and promote the Vietnam-China relationship, he said.

During the meeting, Minh explained Vietnam’s stance on the sea dispute, saying Vietnam will comply with the consensus reached by leaders of the two sides on properly handling sensitive issues in bilateral relations.

Vietnam is willing to work with China on maritime issues, maintain close communication, manage tensions and properly deal with the issues, as well as telling the international community that Vietnam and China are able to resolve their differences by peaceful means, he said.

Both sides agreed the meeting was conducted in a candid and constructive manner.

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