Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh held a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Zhang Gaoli in Nanning, in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on September 15 as part of his participation in the China-ASEAN Expo and the 11th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

Deputy PM Minh, who is also the Foreign Minister, spoke highly of China’s successful organisation of the events, which would help boost the relations between ASEAN and China.

He said Vietnam treasured its traditional friendship with China and was willing to increase comprehensive bilateral relations in a substantive manner.

He asked both sides to continue the exchange of high-ranking delegations; effectively carry out the action plan on the implementation of the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership and cooperation programmes between respective sectors and localities; and promptly organise the 7th meeting of the steering committee for bilateral cooperation in 2014.

Regarding the East Sea situation, Deputy PM Minh urged both countries to maintain control over the maritime situation; avoid activities that complicate the circumstances further; step up negotiation efforts; strictly implement the basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues between Vietnam and China; respect international law; and work together to maintain regional and international peace and stability.

For his part, Deputy PM Zhang Gaoli said Minh’s participation in the events demonstrated that Vietnam valued cooperation between ASEAN and China. He said he held Vietnam’s role in promoting relations between his country and the bloc in high regard.

He affirmed that China consistently strived for friendly neighbourliness and mutually beneficial cooperation with Vietnam.

The country continued to be willing to solve matters between the two countries effectively and boost their ties in a healthy, stable and sustainable manner, Zhang stressed, whilst responding warmly to Vietnam’s proposals to reinforce the two countries’ affiliation, especially with regard to economics, trade, and people-to-people exchanges.

During an earlier meeting with the Secretary of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region’s Party Committee Peng Qinghua, Deputy PM Minh said he considered the region an important gateway for cooperation between ASEAN countries and China, adding that he hoped Vietnam and Guangxi would work closely to act as an economic-trade bridge linking ASEAN and China.

He also called on Guangxi to increase cooperation with Vietnamese sectors and localities in the fields of infrastructure development, trade, investment, tourism, education and training, and agriculture.-VNA