Agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of maritime issues between the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the People’s Republic of China
The delegation of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the delegation of the Government of the People’s Republic of China agreed that the satisfatory settlement of maritime issues between Viet Nam and China goes in line with the basic interests and shared aspiration of the people of the two countries and is conducive to regional peace, stability, co-operation and development. The two sides agreed, on the basis of the common understanding that Vietnamese and Chinese Leaders reached on maritime issues and “The 1993 Agreement on the Basic Principles for the Settlement of Border and Territorial Matters between the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the People’s Republic of China”, to solve maritime issues under the following principles:
1. Taking the overall relationship of the two countries as the most important element and proceeding from on the strategic and panoramic view and guiding by the spirit of “Friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive co-operation, long-term stability and future-oriented relations” and “good neighbours, good friends, good comrades and good partners”, persistently pursue friendly consultations to settle in satisfatory manner maritime issues, thus making the East Sea a zone of peace, friendship and co-operation, contributing to the development of the Viet Nam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, as well as to regional peace and stability.
2. On the basis of full respect for legal evidences, taking into account other factors such as history, as well as each other’s reasonable concerns, and with a constructive attitude, the two sides would make efforts to expand common understanding, narrow differences and continuously promote negotiations. Based on the legal regime and principles recognized by international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the two sides shall make efforts to seek mutually acceptable fundamental and lasting solutions to maritime disputes.
3. In the negotiations on maritime issues, the two sides will strictly abide the agreements and common understanding reached by their high-level leaders and adhere to the principles and spirit of the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea” (DOC).
For maritime disputes between Viet Nam and China, the two sides shall settle them through friendly negotiations and consultations. If the disputes involve other countries, the consultations shall include all other parties concerned.
4. In the process of seeking fundamental and lasting solutions to maritime issues, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits, the two sides shall actively discuss provisional and temporary measures without affecting each side’s positions and policies, including the active consideration and discussion on co-operation for joint development based on the principles mentioned in Article 2 of this Agreement.
5. To address maritime issues incrementally, taking the easier matters first. To steadfastly speed up the negotiations on demarcation of the mouth of Tonkin Gulf and actively discuss co-operation for joint development in this area. To actively promote co-operation in less sensitive fields like marine environment protection, scientific research, search and rescue, and prevention and mitigation of natural disasters. To make efforts to enhance mutual trust to facilitate the settlement of more difficult matters.
6. The two sides shall conduct periodical meetings between the Heads of Governmental delegations for border negotiations twice a year on a rotational basis and hold irregular meetings if necessary. The two sides agreed to establish a hotline between the Governmental delegations to exchange views and address maritime issues in an appropriate and timely manner.
This Agreement is done in Beijing, on the 11th day of October 2011, in duplicate, each in Vietnamese and Chinese, both texts being equally authentic.