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Vietnam Today

Vietnam, China agree to maintain peace, stability in troubled waters

Released at: 15:20, 13/11/2017

Vietnam, China agree to maintain peace, stability in troubled waters

Photo: VGP

Agreement reached on future direction for host of matters during President Xi Jinping's State visit to Vietnam.

by Quang Huy

Vietnam and China reached agreements on November 12 regarding the directions they will take to deepen relations, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The agreements were reached during a meeting in Hanoi between Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the first day of President Xi’s two-day State visit.

Mr. Trong said that Vietnam attaches great importance to and hopes to promote the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.

He stressed that increasing high-level, ministry-level, and agency-level exchanges and cooperation would be the key to deepening the friendship and cooperation.

He also called for more efficient economic cooperation and the implementation of high-level agreements. Key areas that need improvements include bilateral trade volumes, the trade deficit incurred by Vietnam, and cooperation in investment, agriculture, science and technology, transport, nuclear safety, and tackling climate change and flooding.

Photo: VGP

Regarding maritime issues in the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, Mr. Trong emphasized the importance and benefits of maintaining peace and stability and building trust.

He called for all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from taking action that could complicate the situation or escalate disputes. All sides need to respect each other’s legal and legitimate interests and focus on maintaining peace and stability in the region.

Mr. Trong requested that both Vietnam and China fully and effectively implement the Vietnam-China Agreement on Basic Principles Guiding the Settlement of Maritime Issues and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

He also called for an early initiation of substantive negotiations to develop the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and called for both countries to settle disputes through cooperation and in accordance with international law.

Additionally, the Party General Secretary proposed researching potential cooperation between ASEAN and China in less sensitive maritime areas such as fishing and environmental protection in order to build trust and maintain long-term peace and stability in the East Sea.

President Xi affirmed that China always attaches great importance to consolidating and developing the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

He agreed with the directions and methods proposed by Mr. Trong and suggested that both countries need to consider their relations from a strategic and long-term perspective in order to develop stable relations.

After the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of 12 cooperation agreements in infrastructure, border economic cooperation zones, e-commerce, healthcare, energy, culture, banking, and defense. The agreements also included a memorandum of understanding to promote the connection between the “Two Corridors, One Economic Belt” project and the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Businesses from Vietnam and China signed 83 agreements on November 9 worth a combined $1.94 billion. The deals were signed during a visit to Vietnam by a Chinese group comprising more than 60 representatives from over 30 Chinese companies in the fields of textiles, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, petrochemicals, and commercial trading, among others, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

The deals came ahead of President Xi’s arrival on November 10 to attend the APEC CEO Summit and pay a State visit to Vietnam.

China is one of the largest foreign investors in Vietnam and its largest trade partner. Bilateral trade reached $72 billion last year, with Vietnam incurring a trade deficit of $28 billion.

The northern neighbor is also Vietnam’s largest tourism market. More than 3.2 million Chinese visited Vietnam in the first ten months this year, up 45 per cent year-on-year and accounting for nearly one-third of all foreign visitors.

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