China ends mission to clear Vietnam border of mines

China will soon complete a third mission to clear its border with Vietnam of landmines, ahead of a deadline to demarcate their territorial boundaries, state media said on Wednesday.

China ends mission to clear Vietnam border of mines
China cleared more than 6,800 landmines at its Friendship Pass border area with Vietnam, the Xinhua news agency said, citing the headquarters of the regional army command.

Both countries normalised relations in 1990 after 10 years of confrontation over border issues. They reached an agreement in 2005 to demarcate their land border by 2008.

"No one really knows how many mines are buried on the border," Lieutenant-Colonel Fu Xiutang, one of the leaders of the mine-clearing mission was quoted as saying. The number has been estimated to be as high as two million.

Almost 6,000 Chinese in Wenshan Prefecture along the border have died or were injured by landmines since 1979, Xinhua said, citing the Yunnan local government.

In May this year, the two countries agreed to step up the pace of demarcating their land border and to finish the project this year. Last week, Vietnamese media reported the laying of a new border marker, calling it "one of the last".

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Dawei was in Hanoi this week leading a delegation on border and territory negotiations.

Last Mod: 31 Aralık 2008, 11:40
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