The Chinese Foreign Ministry Website

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summer of 2011, when he met the Philippine President Benigno Aquino. Specifically, the Chinese Foreign Ministry website explains as follows; the concept of “setting aside dispute and pursuing joint development” has the following four elements: 1) The sovereignty of the territories concerned belongs to China, 2) when conditions are not ripe to bring about a thorough solution to territorial dispute, discussion on the issue of sovereignty may be postponed so that the dispute is set aside. To set aside dispute does not mean giving up sovereignty. 3) the territories under dispute may be developed in a joint way, and 4) the purpose of joint development is to enhance mutual understanding through cooperation and create conditions for the eventual resolution of territorial ownership.
Moving on to Vietnam, according to a study conducted by the Center for Naval Analyses and the Institute for Public Research, Vietnamese official position regarding its sovereignty claims to the South China Sea islands was first brought about in a White Paper published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1974. Like China, Vietnam also insists ownership over all of the Paracel (or Hoang Sa, as people call) and Spratly (Truong Sa) islands based on several factors including 1) historical evidence and 2) economic advantages. Firstly, Vietnam claims that it has actively ruled over both the Paracels and the Spratlys archipelagoes since the 17th Century —for this reason, it hotly disputes China 's historical

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