China and Vietnam have said they will maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and not indulge in any acts that "complicate" the tensions between the two countries over disputed territories, Chinese state television reported Friday, according to Reuters. The news comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping ended his crucial visit to Vietnam.
The two neighboring countries have competing claims in the South China Sea, with bilateral relations getting strained last year when Beijing placed a giant oil rig off the Vietnamese coast in a disputed area. The incident sparked several anti-China protests in Vietnam.
On Friday, Xi reportedly told Vietnam’s parliament that the two countries are capable of dispelling disruptions in bilateral ties.
"China and Vietnam are joined my mountains and water and the friendship between our two peoples goes back to ancient times," Xi said, according to Reuters. "In the struggle for national independence and liberation we fought side by side and supported each other forming a tight friendship."
Xi reportedly said that his country pays great attention to its relations with Vietnam and wants their ties to continue on a stable path.
"Our two parties, countries and peoples should be staunch in their faith, help each other and proceed hand in hand, not allowing anyone to disrupt our pace," he added. "I believe ... both nations' peoples have the ability and the wisdom to dispel any disruptions."
While promoting China-Vietnam relations Friday, Xi reportedly made no direct mention of the South China Sea.
During his latest tour, Xi is scheduled to meet Taiwan's leader Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore to discuss regional peace and stability.