Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 16:12 | SYDNEY
Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 16:12 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: The China-Vietnam border


Sam Roggeveen


9 January 2009 13:00

Carl Thayer responds to Malcolm Cook's statement that 'it appears China and Vietnam have reached agreement on their disputed land border (though not their disputed maritime border)':

There is no 'appears' about it. China and Vietnam reached a land border agreement in 1999. They also agreed to complete demarcation by placing marker stones in place by the end of 2008. This they have done. The next step is to negotiate a protocol to govern the management of issues along the border.

In 2000, they reached agreement to delimit the Gulf of Tonkin. They also delimited a joint fisheries area and they have conducted six joint patrols to ensure security in this zone, a first for China. They are now negotiating the 'mouth' of the Gulf of Tonkin. Government-level negotiations over the South China Sea will be more protracted, not only because of competing sovereignty claims to the entire area, but also because the issue is multilateral.