BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Maritime cooperation between China and Vietnam has set an example for handling South China Sea disputes.
The coast guards of China and Vietnam on Friday held their first working meeting during which they signed a conference summary.
Friday's meeting is a key step in enhancing bilateral maritime cooperation between China and Vietnam, which, since 1992, have been negotiating the demarcation of territorial waters in the Beibu Gulf -- a half-closed bay surrounded by Chinese and Vietnamese territory and a traditional fishing area for the two countries.
Maritime cooperation has particularly been deepened since the two countries signed the Beibu Gulf Demarcation Agreement and the Beibu Gulf Fishery Cooperation Agreement in 2000.
China and Vietnam have also conducted joint patrols and joint oil exploration in Beibu Gulf in the past few years.
In December 2015, the two countries launched a joint inspection in which Chinese and Vietnamese experts have inspected the terrain and geological conditions outside the mouth of the Beibu Gulf.
Since the Beibu Gulf Fishery Cooperation Agreement took effect in 2000, by the end of 2013, China has handled more than 300 fishing disputes, rescued more than 440 fishing boats in distress, investigated several hundred cases such as maritime theft and smuggling, as well as repelled some illegal foreign fishing boats, according to China's Maritime Safety Administration.
Through joint inspection, China and Vietnam have established a platform for smooth communication, which has created a harmonious and stable environment for their fishing sectors and enhanced the mutual trust and exchanges between their maritime law enforcement departments.
The success story of maritime cooperation between China and Vietnam shows that both countries are committed to solving their maritime differences via cooperation instead of confrontation, which will produce win-win results for the two parties.
In fact, Beijing has been calling on related parties to peacefully solve territorial disputes in the South China Sea through direct negotiations.
Any act that is intended to illegally occupy Chinese territories using the influence of some outsiders or coercing international courts are doomed to failure.
In order to make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have been endeavoring to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and striving for the signing of a full code of conduct in the waters as soon as possible. This is the correct path that related parties should take.