Communist China and Vietnam on Wednesday said they had settled their long disputed land border, only hours before a deadline was due to expire and nearly 30 years after they fought a border war.
Beijing and Hanoi — who normalised relations in 1991 and are now major trade partners — have sought to overcome a history of conflict and distrust to turn the former battlefields into a transnational economic growth area.
Government teams from both sides have worked for years to plant border stones to mark their approximately 1,400 kilometre (870-mile) frontier in the remote and, to meet a 2008 deadline agreed nine years ago.
A Chinese woman walks through the Tan Thanh border gate in the northern province of Yunnan, 30 January. Communist China and Vietnam have said they had settled their long disputed land border, only hours before a deadline was due to expire and nearly 30 years after they fought a border war.(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)
On New Year’s Eve, hours before the midnight deadline, both sides issued a joint statement in Hanoi saying they had “finalised the demarcation and placement of markers along the entire land border between Vietnam and.”
The countries, represented by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and his Vietnamese counterpart Vu Dung, hailed the agreement as “an event of great historical significance for relations between Vietnam and China.”
They said it was the first time China and Vietnam had defined a clear territorial border with modern landmarkers, and they pledged to work for “peace, stability and mutual development in the border areas.”