III. China's Maritime Demarcation and Bilateral Fishery Affairs
(1) The Chinese-Vietnamese Negotiation on the Demarcation of the Beibu Bay
On December 25, 2000, Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Ngugen Dy Nien signed in Beijing The Agreement between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on the Demarcation of the Territorial Seas of the Beibu Bay, the Exclusive Economic Zones and the Continental Shelf. Chinese Minister of Agriculture Chen Yaobang and Vietnamese Minister of Aquatic Products Tta Quang Ngoc signed The Agreement between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Fishery Cooperation in the Beibu Bay. State President Jiang Zeming of China and State President Tran Duc Luong of Vietnam who was paying a state visit in China attended the signing ceremony. The negotiation on the demarcation of the Beibu Bay started in 1974 and it took over 20 years. In 1993 the two states signed The Accord on the Basic Principles for the Resolution of the Question of Boundary Territory between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and unanimously agreed to divide the Beibu Bay through negotiations according to the principle of fairness and in consideration of all the relevant circumstances of the Beibu Bay. Towards the end of 1999, after the signing of The Chinese-Vietnamese Treaty on Land Boundary, the pace of negotiation on the Beibu Bay obviously quickened and the negotiation unfolded in an all round way. In the year of 2000, pushed by the leaders of the two states and under the direct guidance of the governmental delegations on boundary negotiation, the Chinese-Vietnamese Joint Working Group on the Demarcation of the Beibu Bay held the 12th to 18th rounds of negotiation. The fishery experts group held 6 rounds of negotiation. The mapping experts group held 7 rounds of negotiation. In between, Wang Yi, Head of the Chinese Governmental Delegation on Boundary Negotiation and Assistant Minister of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Le Cong Phung, Assistant Minister of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry held three informal impromptu meetings and gave the negotiation direct guidance. The two countries finally ascertained the sea area boundary line and at the same time made an appropriate arrangement for the fishery and realized the common understanding reached by the leaders of the two countries of resolving the question of demarcation of the Beibu Bay within the year of 2000.
(2) The Sino-Japanese Consultation on the Law of the Sea and the Sino-Japanese Fishery Agreement in Operation
In January and September 2000, the Chinese and Japanese sides held the 9th and 10th consultations on the Law of the Sea. The Chinese side expatiated on the principle of fairness in delimitation, the natural extension of China's continental shelf to the Okinawa sea trough and the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Island. Whereas the Japanese side stressed on its proposition on the median line and explained in detail the co-existence of China and Japan on one continental shelf. The Japanese side also expressed its grave concern over the activities of the Chinese scientific exploration vessels in the East China Sea.
The Sino-Japanese Agreement on Fishery was signed in November 1997. In January 2000, the Chinese Minister of Agriculture and the Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries held talks in Beijing. The two sides finally reached agreement on the maintenance of the status quo of access fishing in the east and west parts of the areas north to the zone of the provisional measures and the arrangement of entry for fishing from both sides. On June 1 the Sino-Japanese Agreement on Fishery formally came into effect. This is of important significance in the sustainable utilization and development of the fishery resources in the East China Sea and the stabilization of the Sino-Japanese fishery relations.
(3) The Sino-ROK Consultation on the Law of the Sea and the Formal Signing of the Sino-ROK Fishery Agreement
In March 2000, China and ROK held the 5th consultation on the Law of the Sea. The Chinese side advocated delimitation in the principle of fairness and comprehensive consideration of all the circumstances and elements relating to delimitation. Whereas the ROK side advocated delimitation in the median line. Both sides also continued the in-depth exchange of views on delimitation in stages and by areas and agreed to continue the consultation on the Law of the Sea.
On August 3, 2000, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and Kwon Byong Hyon, Ambassador of the ROK to China formally signed The Fishery Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Korea. This was a major event in the history of the Sino-ROK fishery relations, marking the entry into a new stage of development of the fishery relations between the two countries and was of very important significance in the protection of the fishery resources in the Yellow Sea, safeguarding the fishery interests of the two countries and ensuring the maintenance of normal and orderly fishery relations between the two countries before the completion of the delimitation of the sea areas.