Vietnam, China review 15-year implementation of Gulf of Tonkin Fisheries Agreement

Monday, 2019-04-01 12:40:01
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Delegates join a group photo at the seminar. (Photo: NDO/Quang Tho)
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NDO – Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs jointly organised a symposium in Vietnam’s Quang Ninh province on March 31, aiming to evaluate 15 years of implementing the Vietnam-China Agreement on Fishery Cooperation in the Gulf of Tonkin.

The Agreement on the Delimitation of the Tonkin Gulf and the Vietnam-China Fisheries Cooperation Agreement was signed in 2000 and came into effect in 2004. It is a legal basis for Vietnam and China to clearly define the boundary in the gulf and create a clear international legal framework, which is convenient for each country to protect, manage, use and exploit natural resources, as well as facilitating economic development in coastal areas and continental shelf, contributing to strengthening and developing neighbouring relations and traditional friendship between the Party, Government and peoples of Vietnam and China.

Speaking at the seminar, Vice Chairman of Quang Ninh provincial People's Committee Dang Huy Hau affirmed that the Vietnamese northern province attaches great importance to the implementation of the agreement and has directed its related departments and localities to propagate the contents of the agreement to local officials and fishermen, while regularly coordinating and providing information in the management and protection of national sovereignty over the sea and islands, inspecting and supervising fisheries activities and promptly handling violations.

Also, in the process of implementing the agreement, Quang Ninh has integrated it with the implementation of the provincial resolutions, plans and directives on the development of the fisheries sector, with particular attention to exploitation and protection of aquatic resources.

Evaluating the cooperation results after 15 years, the leaders of both ministries jointly affirmed that both the Tonkin Gulf Agreement and the Fisheries Cooperation Agreement have contributed to stabilising security and order in the gulf, building a peaceful, stable and cooperative environment for the two countries.

MARD Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien affirmed that Vietnam's ministries and localities have closely coordinated in training for about 55,000 fishermen and the management control force, and at the same time, developed plans to implement the agreement effectively. The two countries have well organised production and security at sea. Most of the licensed fishing boats comply with regulations and fishermen operate in compliance with the inspection and supervision of the Coast Guard, Vietnam Fisheries Resources Surveillance, and Border Guard forces, Deputy Minister Tien stated.

Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Wu Qinghai said that with the efforts of both countries’ related ministries and agencies, the spirit of cooperation and friendship between the two sides, with trust and mutual understanding, has maintained stable fishery production in the waters under the agreement, with three key elements maintained, which are the production of fisheries, fishermen's relations and fisheries management methods. After 15 years of fisheries cooperation between the two countries, the two sides have achieved outstanding results, contributing to the economic development of localities along the gulf and stabilising the social order in the fishing areas, the Chinese official stated.

Through the workshop together with the analysis, assessment and evaluation of experts and the experience from diplomatic negotiators, representatives of the agricultural sector from the two countries will provide appropriate solutions to help fishermen have successful fishing trips, continuing to promote the sustainable development of fisheries in the Gulf of Tonkin and strengthening trust in the common relations between the two countries.