China's state councilor Yang Jiechi met with Vietnam's Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung Wednesday, as well as with Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. Statements after the meeting indicated little was accomplished and neither side offered any compromise.
At issue is China's installation in May of an oil rig in the South China Sea, 120 miles off Vietnam's coast and near the Paracel Islands, claimed by both countries. Ships from both countries' coast guards have been involved in low-level face-offs in close proximity to the oil rig. Meanwhile, tensions over China's perceived territorial encroachment have led to rioting and the burning of Chinese-owned factories in Vietnam.
In statements Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said China would "take all necessary measures to safeguard its national sovereignty," while Dung claimed China breached international and regional agreements and "hurt the feelings of the people of Vietnam."
The strong language was unusual for diplomatic statements arising from conflicts involving two communist countries.