An ongoing dispute over territorial rights in the South China Sea between China and Vietnam may have cooled, following a Wednesday Beijing meeting between both countries, according to reports in Chinese state-run media.
“The visit is aimed at coming up with measures ‘to cool the situation,’” Le Hai Binh, spokesperson of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Wednesday statement reported by the Xinhua news service.
Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Liu Yunshan and Le Hong Anh, special envoy of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) hashed out a three point agreement that promised to:
“Implement a basic guideline for the resolution of China-Vietnam maritime issues signed in October 2011, make best use of the bilateral governmental border negotiation mechanism, seek basic and lasting solutions acceptable to both sides, study and discuss how to seek joint exploration of the South China Sea,” according to Xinhua.
The bilateral agreement follows months of tension after China sent the $1 billion Haiyang Shiyou 981 oilrig inside Vietnamese controlled waters in early May.
The state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) rig began searching for oil in waters both countries claim as their own.
China sent around 80 ships to protect the rig leading to several confrontations with Vietnamese costal patrols.
Onshore, protestors targeted Chinese businesses in several riots not only in Vietnam but also in Japan and South Korea.