China and Japan Agree (Sort of) to Jointly Develop Disputed East China Sea
There is a lot of diplomatic-speak here, and agreements to agree to work at some point in the future and how there is no prejudice to their legal positions, etc. but this non-agreement-agreement is a promising sign for resolving various territorial disputes between China and Japan. Another reminder of how useful non-binding international agreements can be.
China and Japan, through consultations on an equal footing, reached principled consensus on the East China Sea issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu made the announcement here Wednesday.
The announcement included the following three parts:
I. Cooperation Between China and Japan in the East China Sea
In order to make the East China Sea, of which the delimitation between China and Japan is yet to be made, a “sea of peace, cooperation and friendship”, China and Japan have, in keeping with the common understanding reached by leaders of the two countries in April 2007 and their new common understanding reached in December 2007, agreed through serious consultations that the two sides will conduct cooperation in the transitional period prior to delimitation without prejudicing their respective legal positions. The two sides have taken the first step to this end and will continue to conduct consultations in the future.