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233 words - June 20, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang left Hanoi on June 19 to pay his first state visit to China as President. "The visit aims to affirm Vietnam's consistent policy in relations with the Communist Party of China and the State of China," said a communiqué issued by the Vietnamese government. In press interview, Mr. Sang said his country looked to develop relations with China in "a practical manner" and, with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping he tackled "frankly and sincerely" the ongoing dispute regarding maritime sovereignty. In December 2012 and in January, Vietnam repeatedly demanded that China "stop (and cancel) wrong activities" in the East Sea, a "vital matter" according to President Sang.
Tensions rose continuously but the issue seemed less sensitive after bilateral talks started in April. Agreeing that more strategic trust in bilateral ties is needed, Vietnam and China managed to talk extensively about the sea area off Tonkin Gulf and decided to set up naval hotline in June. The Chinese leader brought some optimism too, saying "China and Vietnam should make a decision to direct and push forward on seeking a political solution to the South China Sea issue." Both countries agreed to actively hold talks on joint development and demarcation in sea waters out of the mouth of Beibu Bay, Chinese government said after the three-hour-long talks between the two Presidents.
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