VIETNAM and China agreed yesterday that they would work to strengthen the focal points of their strategic partnership.
The agreement came at the 10th meeting of the countries’ steering committee for bilateral co-operation, co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi in Beijing.
Reviewing bilateral co-operation since the ninth meeting on June 6, 2016, both sides saw positive development trends, noting in particular the holding of regular meetings between senior leaders, enhanced co-operation between ministries, sectors and localities, and stronger people-to-people exchanges.
They also spoke about difficulties and obstacles in bilateral relations.
The two sides agreed to implement mechanisms for defence exchange and co-operation and intensify connections in security and law enforcement.
Effective measures will be taken to balance trade, expand investment and promote the sustainable development of economic and trade relations, with a focus on agriculture, forestry and fisheries, the meeting heard.
Both sides also agreed to facilitate the establishment of Vietnam’s trade promotion offices in China and increase Chinese investment in the fields that match Vietnam’s demand and interests.
They concurred that the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project in Hanoi needs to be completed as soon as possible, and that outstanding problems in projects involving Chinese investors or contractors have to be resolved early.
China expressed support for Vietnam’s access to preferential loan sources, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, as well as funding within the framework of Asean-China and Mekong-Lancang co-operation.
The two sides vowed to strengthen collaboration in transport, environmental protection, climate change response, and cross-border labour management.
They discussed sea-related issues in a straightforward manner, and agreed to observe important shared conceptions reached by party and government leaders of both countries, as well as the Vietnam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea issues.
They agreed to push negotiation mechanisms on sea-related issues towards achieving substantial outcomes, carrying out the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, finalising soon a Code of Conduct in the East Sea, controlling sea disputes and refraining from actions that increase disputes, and maintaining stability in the South China Sea.
Minh urged the two countries to make effective use of co-operation mechanisms between ministries, sectors and localities, maintain regular contact between the two secretaries-general of the steering committee for bilateral co-operation, and use the bridging role of the Vietnamese and Chinese ambassadors.
Later on Monday, Minh met Politburo permanent member and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Yu Zhengsheng.
He congratulated China on its recent socio-economic achievements. Minh said both Vietnam and China were on an important phase of their renewal processes and shared a common interest in keeping a peaceful and stable environment for either country’s development.
He emphasised that the two sides should maintain high-level exchanges, boost political trust, and consolidate their traditional friendship.
Keeping good control of divergences and peacefully solving maritime disputes in accordance with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea are in the mutual interest of both countries and beneficial for maintaining peace in the region and the world, Minh said.
Yu praised the outcomes of the meeting of the steering committee for bilateral co-operation.
He affirmed that China wants to boost ties with Vietnam.
He also emphasised the importance of high-level bilateral visits in orienting the development of the relations between the two parties and states.
China is willing to work with Vietnam to enhance co-operation in all fields, increase people-to-people exchange, and keep maritime disputes under control, he said.