Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (Source: VNA)

Ulan Bator (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had bilateral meetings with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev on July 14 on the sidelines of the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.

At the meeting with his Chinese counterpart, PM Phuc affirmed that Vietnam consistently pursues its foreign policy of peace, independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation, and intensive international integration, while attaching importance to developing its friendly neighbourliness and comprehensive cooperation with China.

He suggested the two Governments direct their agencies to effectively implement common perceptions and results of the ninth session of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee on Bilateral Cooperation, maintain regular delegation exchanges to intensify political trust and mutual understanding and to boost practical cooperation.

The Vietnamese Government leader urged China to increase imports of Vietnam’s advantageous goods like agro-forestry-fishery products, and welcomed Chinese investors with good capacity to take part in projects which meet Vietnam’s sustainable development requirements.

Regarding the East Sea issue, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed Vietnam's welcoming stance on the Arbitral Tribunal's ruling against China's claims in the East Sea on July 12.

He suggested both sides strictly follow common perceptions and agreements reached by their senior leaders, including the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues.

The two countries should step up negotiations on sea-related issues, while well controlling disputes at sea, avoiding complicating the situation, implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) comprehensively and effectively, and soon signing a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in order to maintain peace and stability in the region, he added.

Premier Li, in turn, confirmed that China attaches importance to consolidating and developing its neighborly friendship and all-round cooperation with Vietnam.

China is willing to intensify strategic dialogues with Vietnam, boost win-win cooperation across sectors, follow common perceptions on sea issues, and control and address disputes properly so as to develop the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership stably and sustainably, he stated.

Also on the day, PM Phuc and Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev exchanged notes on measures to further foster bilateral relations as well as on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

They agreed to continue maintaining and promoting the two countries’ time-honoured friendship.

The Vietnamese leader spoke of the establishment of a joint working group within the framework of the Vietnam-Bulgaria Inter-governmental Committee to define Vietnam’s potential semi-processed products to be processed into finished items in Bulgaria.

He suggested the Bulgarian Government facilitate the operation of Vietnamese businesses in Bulgaria’s manufacturing and processing zones.

He also expressed his hope that Bulgaria will help step up the European Union’s official signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and provide official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam’s education sector.

For the East Sea issue, the PM wished that Bulgaria would continue supporting Vietnam’s and ASEAN’s stance of maintaining peace, stability, and aviation and navigation security and freedom in the East Sea and settling disputes by peaceful resolutions on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

President Plevneliev affirmed that with its strengths in labour cost, energy, seaport, and science and technology, Bulgaria will create the best conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to do business in the country and approach the EU market.

He pledged to contribute to speeding up the EU’s signing and ratification of the EVFTA, confirming that Bulgaria will be one of the first nations to ratify the agreement.

He also expressed concern over the East Sea situation, emphasising that Bulgaria and the EU uphold the supremacy of law and the handling of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law.-VNA