Vietnam, China seek to foster bilateral partnership in all fields hinh anh 1At the 14th meeting of the Steering Committee for Vietnam - China Bilateral Cooperation. (Photo: VNA)
Beijing (VNA) – Politburo member and Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on July 13 co-chaired the 14th meeting of the Steering Committee for Vietnam - China Bilateral Cooperation in Nanning, the capital of China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The two sides congratulated each other on the positive development achievements of each country and underlined the significance of Vietnam - China relations in the overall external relations of both countries.

They agreed that since the previous meeting of the committee last September, the two sides have worked closely together to maintain the stability of the overall bilateral relationship and cooperation with positive results.

Along with regular meetings at all levels, the two sides have seen good cooperation results in the fight against COVID-19, they noted, adding that partnerships in economy, trade, investment and other areas, have also expanded.

Vietnam is China’s largest trade partner in ASEAN, and the six biggest trade partner in the world. Meanwhile, China has continued to be Vietnam’s largest trade partner, they said.

Both sides agreed that problems mentioned at the 13th meeting have been settled, while pointing out a number of shortcomings in bilateral trade, including a growing imbalance in bilateral trade, the congestion of goods at border gates, China’s slow opening of its market for Vietnamese farm produce, and difficulties in travelling between the two countries due to COVID-19.

Regarding the cooperation orientations in the future, both sides agreed to increase exchanges and meetings at high and all levels, implementing cooperation agreements between the two Parties, promoting the committee’s role in removing arising problems, maintaining collaboration in important areas such as diplomacy, defence and security, and beefing up bilateral partnership in a stable, balance, sustainable manner. The two sides will continue to increase people-to-people exchange activities.

Minh suggested the Chinese side continue to create favourable conditions for customs clearance activities at border gates, especially for Vietnamese fruits, agricultural and aquatic products, while setting up “green lines” to reduce time for quarantine and customs clearance process.

He proposed China open its door wider for Vietnamese fruits and back the opening of Vietnam’s trade promotion office in Chengdu of Sichuan province.

The Deputy PM also underlined the need to enhance the efficiency of the Vietnam - China railway route that connects with the railway route linking China and Europe as well as a number of countries, along with the expansion of high-quality investment in areas suitable to Vietnam’s demand and sustainable development strategy.

He also suggested the formation of new cooperation formats such as trans-border e-commerce, and the improvement of cooperation efficiency in the areas of finance, transport, agriculture, environment, science-technology, education, culture, tourism and sports.

Agreeing with Vietnam’s cooperation proposals, Wang affirmed that China attaches great importance to Vietnam's interest in expanding exports of agricultural and aquatic products to China and ensuring smooth customs clearance at border gates, adding that his country is ready to open and upgrade border gates to meet the demands of both countries.

China will continue opening its market and cooperating with Vietnam in maintaining the stability of the supply and production chains, deepening collaboration on new land and sea transport corridors, discussing cooperation in the fields of digital economy, e-commerce, clean energy, emission reduction, and infrastructure connectivity, while resuming commercial flights between the two countries and receiving Vietnamese students returning to China to study.

Mentioning border and territory issues, both sides concurred to coordinate and well manage the shared land border, and properly settling any cases following three legal documents regarding the land border between Vietnam and China.

Vietnam and China agreed to continue to strictly abide by the high-level common perception on maintaining peace and stability at sea, including the Vietnam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues, while effectively promoting negotiation mechanisms for practical progress, speeding up the negotiations for a new agreement on fisheries cooperation in the Bac Bo (Tonkin) Gulf, and reaching an agreement on cooperation in search and rescue at sea and another on the establishment of hotlines on unexpected cases of fishing activities at an early date.

Minh underscored that both sides should work hard to control disagreements; not take actions that complicate the situation and expand disputes; respect each other's legitimate rights and interests in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and maintain peace and stability in the East Sea together.

Vietnam, China seek to foster bilateral partnership in all fields hinh anh 2Politburo member and Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. (Photo: VNA)
Concluding the meeting, Minh and Wang announced the signing of a number of cooperation agreements, including an agreement on economic and technical cooperation on the provision of non-refundable aid between the Government of Vietnam and the Government of China for the 2020 fiscal year; a protocol on phytosanitary requirements for durians exported from Vietnam; and a cooperation agreement on a geological research project in Red River Delta of Vietnam and Changjiang River Delta of China.
Earlier, on July 12, Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh had a meeting with Liu Ning, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, during which both sides agreed to increase exchanges and meetings at all levels, further promote existing cooperation mechanisms, enhance economic, trade and investment collaboration efficiency and strengthen transport infrastructure connections. They also concurred to work closely together in pandemic prevention and control, border protection and the opening of new border gates.

Minh hailed the cooperation outcomes between Guangxi and Vietnamese localities and thanked Guangxi for providing vaccines and medical equipment to border provinces of Vietnam. He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government supports and creates optimal conditions for localities to promote win-win partnerships with Guangxi, and expressed hope that Guangxi will help to streamline customs clearance for Vietnamese farm produce.

Liu said he hoped both sides would optimise the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to further bolster bilateral and multilateral economic and trade cooperation, and welcomed Vietnam to join and contribute to the success of the 19th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) that will be held in Nanning in September./.