BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday said a recent agreement with Vietnam will guide the settlement of maritime issues between the two countries.
"The China-Vietnam agreement is a positive step in the process of negotiating maritime issues...it will provide important guidelines for the two countries to resolve maritime issues," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a daily press briefing on Wednesday.
Liu's comments came one day after China and Vietnam signed a six-point agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of existing maritime issues between the two countries.
The two countries should remain committed to friendly consultations in order to properly handle maritime issues and make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, the agreement said.
Both sides should seek steady progress in negotiations regarding the maritime demarcation of the baymouth of the Beibu Gulf and discuss the joint development of the sea area, the agreement said.
Both sides should promote maritime cooperation in less sensitive fields, including marine environmental protection, scientific research, search and rescue, and disaster reduction and prevention, the agreement said.
Both sides agreed to set up a hotline mechanism in order to allow them to promptly communicate and properly deal with maritime issues, the agreement said.
"The agreement reflects the common political willingness of both sides to properly handle and resolve maritime issues," Liu said.
He said the agreement also showed that the two countries have the capability and determination to settle maritime disputes through consultations.
"China will work with Vietnam to earnestly implement the agreement," Liu said.