The sovereign rights of Chunxiao oil and gas field in the East China Sea belong to China, said Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei here Thursday.
The cooperative development of the Chunxiao oil and gas field between Chinese and Japanese enterprises is different from the "joint development " of the East China Sea, Wu told a press briefing.
According to the China-Japan principled consensus on the East China Sea issue, Chinese enterprises welcome the participation of Japanese legal person in the development of the existing oil and gas field in Chunxiao in accordance with the relevant laws of China governing cooperation with foreign enterprises in the exploration and exploitation of offshore petroleum resources.
The development of Chunxiao oil and gas field must be conducted in accordance with the Chinese law, Wu said, adding this is the biggest difference from joint development.
"This indicates that the sovereign rights of Chunxiao oil and gas field belong to China," Wu noted.
There are many cases of cooperative development in the international community. Foreign companies in China's coastal areas and Chinese companies in other nations have conducted cooperative development in the same way as in Chunxiao, Wu said.
Relevant Chinese oil companies had cooperated previously with foreign oil companies such as Unocal Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Group in Chunxiao. The two companies quitted the cooperation for business reasons, Wu said, noting that the nature of the participation of Japanese legal person in the Chunxiao development is exactly the same as that of Unocal and Shell.
Wu said Japan's agreement on participating in the development of the existing oil and gas field in Chunxiao in accordance with the relevant laws of China and Japan's acknowledge of China's sovereign rights over Chunxiao is one of the important precondition of the consensus between China and Japan on the East China Sea issue.
According to Wu, another precondition is that the consensus would not damage China's sovereignty and jurisdiction in the East China Sea, and would not damage China's legal stances over the East China Sea issue.
As to the demarcation of the East China sea, China does not recognize Japan's unilateral claim of a so-called "median line" in the East China Sea, and there is no existence of the issue of demarcating the "median line" between the two nations, Wu noted.
China holds to delimit the East China sea in the principle of the natural extension of its continental shelf, while Japan claims to divide by a "median line" between the two countries' coasts.
"Such a dispute is hard to be resolved within a short period of time. But if it could not be solved well, it will definitely disturb the overall situation of China-Japan ties," Wu said.
China and Japan agreed to make provisional arrangements without touching upon sovereign rights, so to avoid the dispute casting shadow on the steady development of China-Japan ties, he said.
The principled consensus on the joint development carries out the principle of "putting aside disputes and seeking joint exploration" on resolving the dispute, a principle that has been repeatedly put forward by Chinese leaders some 30 years ago, Wu stressed.
The delimitation of the East China Sea continental shelf still needs negotiation from both sides, Wu added.
The principled consensus on the East China Sea issue reached this time shows that the two nations, both as influential nations in Asia and the world, have the capability and sincerity to properly solve sensitive issues through dialogue and consultation, Wu said.
The resolution of the East China Sea issue would help safeguard the peace and stability of the East China Sea, increase mutually beneficial energy cooperation between China and Japan, and promote the healthy and stable growth of China-Japan relations, Wu said.
He noted that the development of China-Japan ties accords with fundamental interests of both nations and peoples, and is also conducive for peace, stability and development in Asia and the world.