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The Vietnam National Assembly ratifies Agreement on the Delimitation of the Tonkin Gulf


June 15th 2004, the fifth session of the 11th National Assembly approved a resolution to ratify “Agreement between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China on the delimitation of the territorial sea, exclusive economic zones and continental shelf of the Tonkin Gulf”.

As agreed by Vietnam and China, the two parties will complete legal procedures as stipulated by their respective laws so that the agreement can come into force in June 2004.

The Agreement on the Delimitation of the Tonkin Gulf was negotiated and concluded on the basis of principles of mutual respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality, mutual benefits and peaceful co-existence.

The Tonkin Gulf Delimitation Agreement results from a long negotiation process based on international law and practice, and natural geography and relevant circumstances of the Gulf, illustrating the two sides’ efforts and goodwill and meeting the aspirations and legitimate interests of each country. The delimitation reached upon by the two sides is an equitable solution, conducive to the maintenance of peace, stability and development in the Tonkin Gulf, further promoting the bilateral friendship and cooperation between the two countries in the coming time.

For the first time, a maritime boundary in the Tonkin Gulf with international legal validity has clearly delimited both area and legal regime of the territorial sea, exclusive economic zones and continental shelf pertaining to each country in the Gulf in conformity with international law, especially the UN 1982 Convention on the Laws of the Sea.

This is an event of great significance for Vietnam and Vietnam-China relations, ushering in a new chapter in managing, protecting, exploiting and utilizing the Tonkin Gulf for each country’s interests and for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region. 

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