The statement came after Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing last week.
After a candid exchange of views, Xi stressed that China is willing to work with Vietnam to "advance their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a sustained, healthy and steady way, making more contributions to peace, cooperation, development and prosperity in Asia and the world as a whole." Xi likening the two countries to “comrades and brothers.”
Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan have territorial claims in the South China Sea, while China claims most of it.
Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that both countries pledged to seek basic and long-term solutions that both sides can accept via negotiation. Both agreed to manage maritime differences and avoid any acts that may complicate the situation or escalate tensions. Both countries also encouraged cooperation on trade, defense and security.
China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner, and Vietnam is China's second largest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Around $5tr worth of maritime trade passes through the South China Sea every year.
Enjoy curated articles directly to your inbox.