Update: 11:01 | 23/07/2020
Vietnam and China defined major tasks in the time ahead to beef up their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a sustainable way, during the 12th meeting of the Steering Committee for Vietnam-China Bilateral Cooperation held in the form of teleconferencing on July 21.
The meeting was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Representatives of many Vietnamese ministries, agencies, and People’s Committees of Hanoi, Hai Phong city and seven northern border provinces also attended the event.
Steering Committee for Vietnam-China Bilateral Cooperation holds 12th meeting.
The two sides shared the view that since the committee’s 11th meeting in September 2018, the bilateral relationship has kept its overall positive growth momentum.
High-level contact has been maintained in a flexible manner, they said.
Cooperation between ministries and agencies, and exchanges between localities have also been expanded.
Two-way trade rose 4.5% in the first half of this year despite the impact of the pandemic.
Chinese investment in Vietnam surged in 2019, and China now ranks seventh among 132 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, China had been the biggest source of tourists to Vietnam for many consecutive years, while Vietnam was among the top countries in ASEAN with large numbers of holidaymakers visiting China.
The two countries have organised many activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.
They, however, pointed to outstanding issues in the bilateral ties, such as Vietnam’s trade deficit with China, the sluggish progress of certain projects whose investors and contractors are Chinese, and the slow implementation of preferential loans and non-refundable aid from China.
The two foreign ministries should play a more active role in coordinating and enhancing the bilateral ties, while collaboration mechanisms in national defence and security, and law enforcement should be implemented more effectively, they suggested.
The two sides shared experience and discussed cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 as well as the resumption of commercial flights, thus facilitating travelling and trading activities.
They agreed to work to boost cooperation in terms of trade, investment, and sustainable development.
Deputy PM and FM Minh asked the Chinese side to facilitate bilateral trade activities, including border trade; import more Vietnamese products, especially farm produce; and encourage Chinese enterprises to expand their investment in hi-tech and environmentally friendly sectors in Vietnam.
He also urged China to direct the thoroughly solution of existing problems in a number of cooperative projects.
Wang affirmed that he will push the governing bodies of China to actively consider Vietnam's proposals.
The two sides also agreed on stronger cooperation in science-technology, environmental protection, transportation, agriculture, health care, culture, education, tourism and people-to-people exchange, and to support each other at multilateral forums.
Regarding land border, the two sides said that the management of border lines, boundary markers and border gates has been implemented well, while cross-border economic activities have been promoted despite the complicated developments of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They agreed to strengthen coordination in border management and protection, strictly abide by provisions of the three legal documents on land borders and related agreements.
For sea-related issues, the two sides acknowledged the results of the 10 negotiations on maritime delimitation and joint development cooperation at sea conducted following the 11th meeting of the Steering Committee for Vietnam–China Bilateral Cooperation; and the fruits of cooperation in less sensitive fields at sea.
They engaged in candid discussion about the recent situation at sea and their differences regarding sea-related issue.
Minh voiced his concern about the complicated developments in the East Sea recently, and proposed that the two sides control well disputes at sea, refrain from actions that complicate the situation and extend disputes, and maintain peace and stability in the waters. He asked the Chinese side to respect Vietnam's relevant legitimate rights and interests.
They also agreed to exchange a list of issues that need the two sides’ coordination to address in the coming time after the meeting.