China, Vietnam to set up group to explore disputed South China Sea
China and Vietnam have agreed to set up a working group to jointly explore their disputed waters in the South China Sea as the two nations vowed to move beyond the territorial row and enhance bilateral ties.
The agreement was announced after Premier Li Keqiang held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Tan Dung, yesterday after arriving in Hanoi for a three-day visit, the last leg of a Southeast Asian tour.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of 12 business deals aimed at boosting cooperation in trade, infrastructure, energy and maritime affairs.
At a joint press conference after the talks, Li said the two nations had achieved "a breakthrough" in enhancing their "comprehensive partnership and mutual trust" by establishing the working group concerning the joint exploration of the South China Sea.
EDITORIAL NOTE: This is not a surprising move from the Dragon. Despite the fact that twenty years ago China ruthlessly murdered over 60 unarmed Vietnamese sailors over these isl;and disputes it is in China's best interest to make nice with Vietnam. First by agreeing to joint oil exploration the door opens to obtaining both oil and leasing revenues much faster. Not only is the process faster bu this is truly nearby oil. One of the islands in dispute with Vietnam could easily be judged in the EEZ waters of either, but has been militarily occupied by China. One is definitely in the EEZ of Vietnam and some tiny ones are actually in their territorial sea. China will no doubt keep the one it has occupied, and drop its claims on Vietnam's territorial sea and islands looking like it had actually ceded something to Vietnam. Sorry these waters and islands are not China's to give. For the time being China will probably slack of on maritime confrontations within Vietnam's more southerly EEZ waters, but they will be back pressing their claim to the entire China sea once they have accomplished goal one which was to move communist Vietnam out of a Japanese, Philippine, U.S. naval containment alliance focused on China. There is nothing new here this is all still the same Dragon game of divide and conquer.
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