China, South Korea Talk on Sea Boundary

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 23, 2015

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin (L) shakes hands with Cho Tae-yul, Republic of Korea's 2nd vice minister of foreign affairs. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin (L) shakes hands with Cho Tae-yul, Republic of Korea's 2nd vice minister of foreign affairs. Photo: Xinhua

 China and South Korea held a key meeting seeking to resolve boundary issues in the Yellow Sea. 

 
The Chinese delegation was led by Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin while South Korea was represented by 2nd Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul, according to statement. Representatives of the two countries' foreign and defense ministries attended the negotiations. 
 
Ties between Beijing and Seoul have been steadily improving in recent years, and both sides are optimistic that progress will be made. Some are even saying that these talks could prove to be a blueprint for dealing with similar disputes across the region.
 
Both sides agreed that maritime borders delimitation must be conducted in the atmosphere of mutual trust, openness and compromise that would promote stable bilateral long-term cooperation, strengthen maritime cooperation and develop strategic partnership between China and South Korea, according to the statement. 
 
The talks were the first on the problem in seven years.  The two sides held 14 director general-level meetings on the matter between 1997 and 2008, but haven't been able to reach an agreement.
 
 Some parts of China's and South Korea's exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in the East China Sea overlap. This issue creates obstacles for determination of a exclusive country's right to use resources inside EEZ. 
 
Korean and Chinese officials will separate into three working groups for the next round, to be held in China in 2016. High-level representatives from the foreign ministries will cover broad outlines, departmental officials will negotiate details, and expert groups will assist on technical issues.
 
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