Vietnam and China have reached common perceptions as manifested in their joint communiqué, laying a solid foundation for their bilateral ties to develop in a healthy and sustainable manner, according to head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan.

Discussing the goals and outcomes of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s China visit from April 7-10 in an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency at the end of the visit, the Party official said the visit was significant to bilateral ties as it is the highest-level meeting between the two countries’ leaders since China had a new leadership elected in the 18 th National Party Congress, particularly when the countries mark their 65 th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.

He said the two countries’ ties have grown strongly since the normalisation despite some periods of difficulties, stressing the success demarcation of border on land and in the Tonkin Gulf, as well as the establishment of a bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. China is now the largest trade partner of Vietnam.

However, the official noted that bilateral relations were affected by the tension on the East Sea, putting negative impacts on the sentiments of the Vietnamese people and bilateral cooperative activities.

For this reason, Quan said the focus of the visit was to discuss steps to fully restore and promote mutually-beneficial collaboration in every field, strengthen mutual trust and friendship as well as seek measures to well manage the situation and maintain peace and stability in the East Sea for the sake of the two peoples, the region and the world at large.

Elaborating on key outcomes of the visit, he said Vietnam and China issued a 9-point joint communiqué detailing their common perceptions on bilateral ties and on such basis, they defined the orientation and key practical measures to boost the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Firstly, both countries will well implement the Master Plan on Vietnam – China Economic and Trade Cooperation for the 2012-2016 period and the portfolio of key cooperative projects and signed economic and trade agreements.

The Chinese side agreed to encourage their firms to expand the imports of Vietnamese competitive goods as well as invest in Vietnam while pledging to create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to tap into the Chinese market. The two countries will promote infrastructure connectivity projects, and joint work across agriculture, manufacturing, services, science-technology, health care and quarantines, etc.

They declared the establishment of Working Groups on currency and infrastructure and signed 7 cooperative documents in several areas.

Another gain is the bilateral consent on trust building measures such as facilitating high-level visits, with Party General Secretary Xi Jinping accepting an invitation to visit Vietnam, Quan said, adding that a cooperation agreement between the two Parties was signed and friendship activities between the two legislatures and peoples will expand, especially among young generations and localities.

He also said the sea issues were discussed in an open and straightforward atmosphere, with the two sides stressing the need to seriously abide by the common perceptions reached by the two countries’ Party and State leaders and the Agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of Vietnam-China sea-related issues; effectively utilise the Government-level negotiation mechanism on Vietnam-China boundary and territorial issues, persistently use consultation and friendly negotiations to seek basic and long-term solutions acceptable to both sides, actively study transitional solutions that do not affect stances and policies of each side, including studying and discussing cooperation for common development.

Vietnam and China will work together to manage disputes at sea, fully and effectively implement the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea” (DOC) and soon create a “Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea” (COC) on the basis of consultation and consensus, not taking actions that can further complicate and expand disputes, timely and satisfactorily settling arising problems, maintaining the overall situation of the bilateral relations and peace and stability in the East Sea.

Quan noted that the two sides agreed to promote activities of the Working Group on cooperation for common development at sea, increase cooperation in less sensitive areas, firmly pushing negotiations on demarcation of the waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf, actively boost cooperation for common development in these waters, and start joint surveys of the waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf within this year.

He said during all talks and meetings, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong always emphasised the request for strong guidance and concrete actions to implement the agreements in line with the spirit “words go well with deeds”.

Asked about his view on the prospect of bilateral ties following the visit, Quan said he believes the two countries will fully resume and further promote cooperation across sectors, noting that the reached common perceptions will be the foundation for maintaining peace and stability at sea. He expressed hope that positive developments would be seen in sea-related issues.-VNA