China and Vietnam pledged Sunday to resolve their maritime dispute in the South China Sea through peaceful dialogue.
Chinese media says Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Vietnamese Vice Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son met in Beijing Saturday and agreed to address the dispute through negotiations and peaceful, friendly consultations.
However, no details on specific plans or timing were given.
Meanwhile, about 100 Vietnamese rallied in the capital of Hanoi Sunday for the fourth consecutive weekend to protest against China's role in the escalating dispute.
The crowd grew as it marched through Hanoi's streets, chanting and singing patriotic songs. The demonstrators were outnumbered by police, who let the peaceful protest continue.
The rare demonstrations are in response to rising tensions in the diplomatic dispute over competing claims to the Spratly and Paracel island chains and other maritime territories.
Last month, Vietnam complained that a Chinese patrol ship severed an exploration cable trailing from an oil survey ship operating in waters inside Vietnam's exclusive economic zone. The Philippines also has complained of Chinese patrol boats interfering with oil exploration off its western coast.
In each case, China insisted its ships were operating appropriately in waters under Beijing's administration.