Talks with ROK to 'set example'

Updated: 2015-12-15 08:02

By Wang Qingyun(China Daily)

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Negotiations on maritime demarcation between China and the Republic of Korea will help set a good example for resolving maritime issues, experts said.

China and the ROK will start the first round of talks on maritime demarcation in Seoul on Dec 22, to honor the announcement that the countries made in July last year, during President Xi Jinping's visit to the ROK, that demarcation talks would be launched this year, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Monday.

Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin will lead the delegation at the talks, Hong added.

The launch of the negotiations is "historic", and the talks are an exploration of a new way of settling maritime disputes, said Li Guoqiang, deputy director of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The fact that the two countries will sit down and talk demonstrates that maritime demarcation disputes can be solved through diplomatic and peaceful ways, which are "the most rational ways" to address such issues, he said. The conditions for launching the negotiations are ripe, Li said.

Gong Yingchun, an associate professor of international law at China Foreign Affairs University, said a settlement concerning maritime demarcation would greatly reduce the possibility of fishery disputes and help bilateral maritime cooperation.

"It will make the China-ROK relationship even better," she said.

(China Daily 12/15/2015 page3)