China and Vietnam reach pact on the South China Sea dispute

China believes that the US could help and not cause problems in the disputed the South China Sea.

Vietnam seizes Chinese fuel ship in South China Sea, arrests sailors

A senior Chinese diplomat has confirmed that China and Vietnam have reached an amicable solution regarding the South China Sea dispute, which was reached after friendly negotiations, aimed at lessening the maritime tension between the two communist countries in the region.

The agreement was made after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Vietnamese officials this week. In September, a top Communist leader in China had hinted on these lines stating that both the communist parties in these countries have a shared destiny. It is believed that the relationship between the two countries will be strengthened more as Chinese President Xi Jinping is going to Vietnam next week on a state visit. He will also attend a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Vietnam.

"They reached an important consensus. Both sides will uphold the principle of fried consultations and dialogue to jointly manage and control maritime disputes, and protect the bigger picture of developing Sino-Vietnam relations and stability in the South China Sea," said Chen Xiaodong, the Assistant Foreign Minister of China, reports Reuters.

An end to Chinese dominance in the waters?

The maritime countries of South-China Sea have locked horns many times, as China claimed the monopoly of the majority waters through which about $5 trillion ship-borne trade passes each year. The dominance of the Asian giant in the area has always been contested by neighbouring countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, and Vietnam.

In August, Foreign Ministers of Vietnam and China were about to meet, but it was canceled due to differences over China's militarization and island-anchoring in the sea. The United States had also criticized China for constructing military facilities in the sea claiming that it can be used for restricting nautical movements. China showed its displeasure when US Navy ships carried out freedom of navigation patrols in the disputed area.

As the US President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit China next week, a senior Chinese diplomat said that the world power can help and not cause problems in the disputed South China Sea. "We hope that as an external party, the United States can plant more flowers and fewer thorns, help and not cause problem," said the diplomat, reports Reuters. He also reiterated that the dispute in the South China Sea is not between China and the US.

Earlier, on Thursday, Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh issued a statement emphasizing that the problems in the disputed area can be solved by following common sense and International law.