China and Vietnam, currently engaged in a simmering dispute over territorial claims in the South China Sea, will hold ministerial-level talks in Bangkok on Friday, diplomatic sources said.
The sources said Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen will meet with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Manh Cam for bilateral talks while in Bangkok for meetings held under the auspices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Asean includes Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Brunei.China and Vietnam are contesting the potentially oil-rich Spratly and Paracel islands in the South China Sea. Each has signed contracts with foreign companies to explore for oil and gas in the contested waters.
The Spratly archipelago is also claimed either wholly or in part by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan.