Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The 11th meeting of the Steering Committee for Vietnam – China Bilateral Cooperation convened in Ho Chi Minh City on September 16 under the chair of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi.

The sides agreed that the two countries’ comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership has grown positively since the last meeting in April 2017, with their high-ranking Party and State leaders exchanging frequent meetings and contacts, and cooperation between their public ministries, sectors and localities as well as people-to-people exchange boosted across fields.

They also pointed to shortcomings in bilateral ties, including trade deficit of Vietnam with China, slow progress of Chinese-constructed projects in Vietnam, and slow disbursement of Chinese non-refundable aid for Vietnam.

The sides delved into defining working priorities in implementation of their leaders’ common perceptions for healthy and sustainable growth of relations.

They said they will work together in preparing for upcoming visits and meetings of Vietnamese and Chinese leaders and promoting the role of the foreign ministries in coordinating bilateral engagements. Their joint work would also aim at the implementation of cooperation between their Parties as well as other exchange - collaboration mechanisms in defence, security, and law enforcement.

The sides showed their support toward measures to boost a sustainable, balanced and healthy cooperation in economy, trade, and investment. They said they backed partnerships between Vietnamese and Chinese firms in agro-forestry-fishery, particularly the production of rice, cassava, dairy products and fruit.

They also agreed to facilitate the operation of Vietnam’s trade promotion offices in China, encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Vietnam’s high-tech and sustainable sectors, and direct firms from both sides to clear hurdles to their joint projects.

They concurred on boosting collaboration in science-technology, environment, transport, agriculture, health, and expanding involvement in culture, education, tourism, press, and people-to-people exchange.

Deputy FM Minh stated win – win bilateral cooperation should be practically enhanced in line with the common perceptions of the two countries’ leaders. He suggested the sides effectively implement existing cooperation mechanisms between their ministries, sectors, and localities.  

Frequent exchanges between the two general secretaries of the steering committee, and the promotion of ambassadors’ connectivity role are also necessary, Minh added.

The sides frankly discussed sea-related issues, agreeing to follow their leaders’ common perceptions and the Vietnam – China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of issues at sea.

They said they will step up negotiation mechanisms on sea-related issues for substantial outcomes, and fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) to ensure a favourable environment for the negotiation process of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC). They also agreed to well control disagreements at sea without any actions that further complicate the situation, and sustain peace and stability in the East Sea.

Concluding the meeting, the two chairs witnessed the signing of its minutes.  

Earlier, on September 14, Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung and Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kong Xuanyou held a meeting between general secretaries of the Steering Committee for Vietnam – China Bilateral Cooperation.-VNA