Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan (R) shakes hands with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Gia Khiem before meeting in Beijing, China, Jan. 23, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- China and Vietnam have
agreed to properly handle their dispute over the South China Sea, according to
the consensus reached at the second meeting of the China-Vietnam steering
committee on cooperation held on Wednesday.
The meeting was co-chaired by Chinese State Councilor
Tang Jiaxuan and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia
The two agreed to properly handle the problems in
bilateral ties, such as the South China Sea dispute, to ensure the steady and
healthy development of bilateral ties.
The two sides also agreed to maintain frequent
contacts of senior leaders of both countries, expand economic and trade
cooperation, strengthen cooperation in fighting transnational crime and
terrorism, promote cultural exchanges, and enhance coordination in major
international and regional issues.
Tang said at the meeting that China had always
regarded China-Vietnam relations with a strategic and long-term point of view
and promoted their healthy and steady development.
He said it was in the interests of both countries and
both peoples to strengthen friendship, deepen practical cooperation and realize
Pham said it was a priority of Vietnam's foreign
policy to develop relations between Vietnam and China and the two political
parties, and Vietnam has devoted itself to continuously promoting friendship
between the two peoples and bilateral cooperation in various fields.
Pham said the Vietnamese party and government firmly
adhered to the one-China policy, considered Taiwan as an inalienable part of
China's territory, supported China's reunification cause, and opposed "Taiwan
independence" activities of any form, including the "UN membership referendum".
Tang appreciated Pham's remarks.
The China-Vietnam steering committee on cooperation
convenes meetings annually in principle, and is held in turn in the two
countries. The first meeting was held in November 2006 in Hanoi.