Vietnam and China have issued a joint statement on further deepening their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new period, on the occasion of Premier Li Keqiang’s official visit to Vietnam from October 13-15.

The document said the two sides have looked back at and valued the development of Vietnam-China relations, affirming they will follow the important common perceptions reached by high-ranking leaders of both countries to develop their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership under the motto “friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability and looking towards the future” and in the spirit of “good neighbours, good friends, good comrades and good partners”.

The two sides were unanimous that amid the current complicated development of the international economic and political situation, it will be in the essential interest of the two Parties, countries and peoples as well as benefit regional and international peace, stability and development, that the two sides increase strategic contacts, deepen result-orientated cooperation, satisfactorily settle existing problems, enhance coordination regarding international and regional issues, and promote the healthy and long-term stable development of relations between the two countries.

Both sides hailed the important role of high-level contacts between the two countries as irreplaceable, and agreed to maintain high-level contacts and visits, and at the same time promote high-level contacts in various forms such as meeting on the sidelines of multilateral forums and hotlines between high-ranking leaders to discuss in depth major issues in bilateral relations as well as issues of mutual interest.

The two sides agreed to continue making good use of the mechanism of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation to boost mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas; well carry out the action programme to implement the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership; maximise the exchanges and cooperative mechanisms between the diplomatic, defence, economic-trade, public security and press sectors of the two countries as well as between the commissions for external relations, and the popularisation and education of the Central Committees of the two Parties.

The two sides also agreed to well organise the meeting of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation, the conference on cooperation in crime prevention and fighting, the meeting of the Committee on Trade-Economic Cooperation, and the theoretical seminar of the two Parties. At the same time, they will continue to hold annual diplomatic and security-defence consultations, training courses for Party and State officials while effectively using the direct hotlines between the two defence ministries and enhancing the correct guidance of the media and public opinions, thus contributing to strengthening mutual trust and maintaining the stable development of bilateral ties.

The two sides held that Vietnam and China are neighbours and partners, and both are in the key stage of their socio-economic development causes. Based on shared needs and interests, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, the two sides agreed to deepen their comprehensive strategic cooperation, focusing on the following aspects:

On onshore cooperation

The two sides agreed on the prompt implementation of the “five-year development plan for economic-trade cooperation between Vietnam and China for the 2012-2016 period” and the list of key cooperation projects, the establishment of a working group on infrastructure cooperation between the two countries for planning and instructing the implementation of specific projects, and an early conclusion on the way to carry out and mobilise capital for the Lang Son-Hanoi highway project in order to start construction at an early date. Both sides will actively promote the Mong Cai-Ha Long highway project, in which the Chinese side supports its businesses to join in the project in the market principle as well as is ready to provide support in terms of capital mobilisation in their capacity. Relevant ministries and sectors of the two countries will speed up and launch at an early date a feasibility study on the Lao Cai-Hanoi-Hai Phong railway project. The two sides agreed to well carry out the “memorandum of understanding on the construction of cross-border economic cooperation zones”, conduct a study and negotiations on and finalise the revised “Vietnam-China border trade agreement”, promoting the active role in boosting cooperation and prosperity in the two countries’ border areas.

The two sides agreed to strengthen the coordination of the economic-trade policy, implement the “memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation in the trade of farm products” and the “agreement on opening a trade promotion agency” in their respective countries, ensuring bilateral trade balance based on sustainable trade growth and reaching 60 billion USD in two-way trade ahead of schedule for 2015. The Chinese side encourages Chinese businesses to expand imports of Vietnam’s competitive goods and supports Chinese firms investing in Vietnam while being ready to create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to expand their market in China. The Vietnamese side will facilitate and support the early completion of the Long Giang and An Duong industrial zones. The two sides will accelerate the construction for an early completion of the Vietnam-China Friendship Palace.

Both sides agreed to deepen cooperation in agriculture, science-technology, culture, sports, tourism and health.

They reached a unanimous decision to continue promoting the role of the land border joint committee between the two countries, fully implement the annual working plan, hold the first meeting of the cooperation committee for border gate management between the two countries, promote the opening and upgrading of some pairs of land border gates and officially open the Hoanh Mo-Dong Zhong national border gates. They agreed to accelerate negotiations on the “agreement on cooperation in protection and use of tourist resources in the Ban Gioc waterfall area”, early achieving practical progress, and launch a new round of negotiations and reach consensus on the agreement on “free travel of ships at the Bac Luan river mouth”, complete the construction of cross-border bridges such as Bac Luan 2 and Ta Lung-Shui Kou 2 bridges, creating a basis for the stability and development of the two countries’ border areas.

They also agreed to further cooperation between localities, particularly border provinces and autonomous regions, and bring into full play the role of related cooperation mechanisms between the two countries’ localities.

On monetary cooperation

The two sides agreed to boost cooperation in finance, create favourable conditions and encourage their financial organisations to provide financial services to bilateral cooperation projects on trade and investment. Based on the agreement on payment with bilateral domestic currencies in cross-border trade signed between the two central banks in 2003, research for expanding the scope of domestic currency payment will be continued to conduct and enhance the exchange of trade and investment between the two sides. They decided to establish a working group on monetary cooperation between the two countries, raising the financial-monetary risk prevention capacity of both sides, maintaining economic stability and development of both countries and the region. Strengthening regulation and multilateral coordination and joining hands in promoting the East Asian monetary-financial cooperation are included.

On cooperation at sea

Both sides agreed to observe the common perception reached by leaders of the two Parties and States, and stringently implement “the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea issues between Vietnam and China”. They were unanimous in efficiently employing the Government-level negotiation mechanism on Vietnam-China boundary and territory and persistently seeking mutually acceptable fundamental and long-lasting solutions through negotiations and peaceful talks, and actively studying transitional solutions that do not affect each side’s stance and policy, which will include studies and discussions pertaining to cooperation for mutual development. Both sides agreed to establish a working group discussing cooperation for mutual development at sea as part of the Governmental Negotiation Team on Vietnam-China Boundary and Territory.

The two sides agreed to intensify instructions to the existing consultation and negotiation mechanisms, boost the operation of the working group on the waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf and the expert-level working group on cooperation on less sensitive issues at sea.

Following the “easy-first, difficult-later” and “step by step” principles, the two sides vowed to steadily speed up negotiations on the demarcation of the waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf along with stepping up cooperation for mutual development in this area. This year, they will kick-start a joint survey in the waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf as part of the implementation of negotiating tasks of the working group on the waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf.

The two sides will quickly carry out cooperation projects in less sensitive areas at sea like cooperation in maritime and island environmental protection in the Tonkin Gulf, a survey on Holocenne-era sediments found in the Hong (Red) River delta and the Chang Jiang delta, and continue accelerating cooperation in maritime environmental protection, marine scientific research, search and rescue at sea, disaster prevention, and maritime transport connectivity.

The two sides agreed to exercise tight control of maritime disputes and not to make any move that can further complicate or expand disputes, making good use of the hotline between the two Foreign Ministries to manage and control disputes at sea as well as the one between the two Agriculture Ministries to promptly and suitably deal with problems arising from fishery activities at sea. At the same time, the two sides will continue to actively discuss and seek efficient measures to control disputes and maintain the overall good relations between Vietnam and China, and peace and stability in the East Sea.
The two sides reached a consensus on the good organisation of such activities as the second Vietnam-China Youth Festival, the Vietnam-China Youth Friendship Meeting, and the Vietnamese-Chinese People Festival to educate the younger generations on the friendship between Vietnam and China. They agreed to establish a Confucius Institute in Vietnam and speed up the setting up of one side’s culture centre in the other side as a practical move to popularise the friendship between Vietnam and China and further promote their people’s understanding and friendship.

The Vietnamese side affirmed to consistently pursue a one-China policy, support the peaceful development of cross-Taiwan Strait relations and China’s great cause of unification, and resolutely oppose actions for the “independent Taiwan” in any form. Vietnam does not develop any official ties with Taiwan. Vietnam’s stance was welcomed by the Chinese side.

Both sides also agreed to boost regulation and coordination at multilateral forums like the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the Asia-Europe Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN-China Summit, the ASEAN Plus with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, and the East Asia Summit, thus working together in maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the world.

They gave high estimations to the immense achievements obtained in the development of ASEAN-China relations, agreeing to seize the opportunity of the 10 th anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership to reinforce their strategic trust.

The Vietnamese side hailed China’s proposals on signing a “treaty of neighbourly and friendly cooperation between ASEAN and China”, upgrading the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, and establishing an Asian infrastructure investment bank. That ASEAN and China expand wide-ranging cooperation is extremely crucial to promoting peace, stability, mutual respect and trust in Southeast Asia.

The two sides agreed to fully and efficiently implement the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), increase trust, enhance cooperation and work together in maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea. Holding onto the spirit and principle of the DOC based on mutual consensus, both sides will do more for the adoption of a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC).

During the visit, the two sides signed an agreement on the opening of each side’s trade promotion agency in the other side, a memorandum of understanding on building a cross-border economic cooperation zone, a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a joint working group in support of projects carried out by Chinese businesses in Vietnam, an agreement on the building of Ta Lung-Shui Kou inland Bridge 2 with attached protocol, a cooperation project on research and management of maritime and island environment in the Tonkin Gulf, a research project on the comparison of Holocenne-era sediments found in the Hong (Red) River delta and the Chang Jiang delta, an agreement on the establishment of a Confucius institute at the Hanoi University, and other economic cooperation documents.

The two sides were delighted with the result of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s Vietnam visit and agreed that this visit was of important significance to stepping up the practical development of the bilateral relations and cooperation in all domains.-VNA