Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi co-chaired the 7th meeting of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation in Hanoi on October 27.

During the function, the two sides reviewed their cooperation in all fields since the committee’s 6th meeting in May 2013 and defined areas for collaboration in the time ahead.

The officials shared the view that the healthy and stable growth of the Vietnam-China friendship was in line with the two peoples’ aspirations and interests for the benefit of regional peace, stability and development.

They agreed to exert maximum efforts to carry out the agreements made and realise common views held by the two countries’ leaders, thus continuously deepening the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

They agreed to create the best possible conditions for bilateral affiliation, facilitate the effective implementation of the action plan on the Vietnam-China strategic cooperative partnership, and promptly establish joint working groups on infrastructure and currency to reinforce ties in these areas.

Both sides will implement three documents on territorial boundaries and cooperate closely to settle issues arising in border management in a timely manner.

The officials highlighted that solving maritime issues in a satisfactory manner was crucial for bilateral relations. They agreed to carry out stringently the two leaders’ common perception and foster mechanisms to negotiate sea-related issues on the basis of their agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues.

They reached a consensus to accelerate joint surveys at sea off the Gulf of Tonkin based on the principles of starting small and progressing one step at a time, thus advancing the negotiations on the delineation of the sea and promoting development cooperation in these waters, as agreed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at their meeting in Milan, Italy, on October 16, 2014.

Deputy PM and FM Minh reiterated that Vietnam continuously treasured its comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with China and urged both sides to effectively specify the agreements reached during the Vietnamese Party chief’s Special Envoy Le Hong Anh’s visit to China in August 2014 on restoring cooperative exchanges, firmly controlling sea-related disagreements and avoiding actions that may complicate and broaden disputes.

He emphasised that Vietnam prioritised the use of peaceful measures to settle the East Sea issue with China on the basis of respecting the common perception of the two countries’ leaders, the agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues, and international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

On his part, Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi said China and Vietnam were important neighbours, adding that his country attached the utmost importance to its friendship and cooperation with Vietnam.

Thanks to joint efforts, both sides have overcome recent difficulties and bilateral ties are gradually being restored, he noted, while urging the countries to strictly follow the directions for cooperation development and appropriately settle and control sea disputes so as to create a favourable environment for bilateral cooperation.

Yang pledged to instruct the relevant Chinese agencies to actively implement the agreements reached during the meeting.

Following the function, the two officials witnessed the signing of the minutes of the 7th meeting of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation.-VNA