Home > News > Regional
Thursday August 28, 2014 MYT 7:48:00 AM
Thursday August 28, 2014 MYT 2:40:57 PM
China's President Xi Jinping talks during a press conference next to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (out of frame) after a meeting at the Government Palace in Buenos Aires on July 18, 2014
Beijing (AFP) - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday held talks with a top Vietnamese envoy and said the two countries should repair strained relations, state media reported.
Xi met Le Hong Anh, a member of Vietnam's Communist Party politburo, the state-run Xinhua news agency said. It described him as being sent by the head of the country's Communist Party.
China and Vietnam, once close ideological allies, are locked in a bitter dispute over disputed waters and island chains in the South China Sea.
"A neighbour cannot be moved away and it is in the common interests of both sides to be friendly to each other," Xi said during the meeting, according to Xinhua's brief dispatch.
In May Beijing moved a deep-sea oil rig into waters that Hanoi claims, sparking deadly anti-China riots in Vietnam and triggering a high-seas standoff around the rig.
China in June dispatched State Councillor Yang Jiechi, its top foreign policy official, to meet Vietnamese officials in Hanoi though the two sides made no progress in easing tensions.
Beijing removed the rig in July, claiming its mission was successfully completed.
Xi, who is separately head of China's Communist Party, also stressed that the two nations are not only close neighbours but also socialist countries, Xinhua said.
Anh arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for a two-day stay.
He also met Liu Yunshan, a top Communist Party official and "they agreed to avoid actions that might worsen their disputes on maritime issues", the report said.
China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters approaching the coasts of its neighbours, and has become increasingly assertive in staking those claims.
Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan have competing claims to parts of the sea.
Vietnam's authoritarian leaders have struggled to balance traditionally warm ties with fellow communists in Beijing with widespread anti-China sentiment among the population.
Despite decades of political closeness, the two sides fought a brief but bloody war in 1979 triggered by Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia.
China's President Xi to visit India next week
Xi wants stronger defence
China's leader Xi departs for South America visit
China and Russia pledge to build ties as Putin visits
Japan PM Abe calls for talks with China's Xi at APEC
Was it all for nothing?
Indonesian capital bets on web drive to lift fortunes
Mother charged with murder of eight children in Australia
Heavy traffic expected at border
Ladies, time to stand up and fight for your man
Looking out for your ears
FIFA official says England had best bid for 2018 World Cup
Depression can hide behind a smile
Africa – surfing capital of the world
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)