|An overview of the 14th Meeting of the Việt Nam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation held in China’s Guangxi Province on Wednesday. VNA/VNS Photo
GUANGXI — Việt Nam expects China will facilitate customs clearance procedures for Vietnamese products via road and railway borders, especially seasonal fruits and agricultural produce.
The statement was made during the 14th Meeting of the Việt Nam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation held in China’s Guangxi Province yesterday.
At the meeting, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi both highlighted the importance of relations between the two countries in their overall foreign policy.
The two officials agreed that the two sides will continue to coordinate with each other, maintain stable relations and achieve positive results.
The two countries also organised exchanges and achieved important results in the COVID-19 prevention and control work.
The economic and investment cooperation between the two sides has continued to develop with Việt Nam maintaining its position as China’s large trade partner in ASEAN and the sixth-largest in the world. China continues to be Việt Nam’s largest trade partner.
The leaders pointed out problems too, including increasing trade imbalance and goods congestion at border gates with China.
They agreed China should open its markets for Vietnamese agricultural produce more rapidly, and that some economic cooperation projects and non-refundable aid projects in Việt Nam need to be accelerated, even though travel between the two countries is still challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two leaders highlighted the need to maintain effective cooperation in such important fields as diplomacy, defence and security, as well as to enhance people-to-people exchanges.
Vietnamese Deputy PM Minh asked China to shorten the quarantine and customs clearance time for products exported to China.
He said he expects China to continue opening the market to Vietnamese fruits, creating favourable conditions for Việt Nam to launch a trade promotion office in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, as well as improving the efficiency of the Việt Nam-China international rail transport route.
It is also expected that China's high-quality investment into areas suitable to Việt Nam’s needs and sustainable development strategy will be expanded.
The two sides should also accelerate cooperation in cross-border e-commerce and improve the effectiveness of cooperation in fields including finance, transport, agriculture, environment and education.
Agreeing with the proposals from the Vietnamese side, the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang said that China attaches special importance to Việt Nam’s interest in expanding the export of agricultural produce and fishery products to China.
China is willing to open and upgrade border gates as per the needs of the two sides and continues to expand markets and cooperation with Việt Nam.
China will consider cooperation with Việt Nam in such fields as digital economy, e-commerce, clean energy, emission reduction and recovery of commercial flight routes between the two countries as well as welcome Vietnamese students back to China to study.
Regarding the territorial border, the two sides agreed to coordinate in managing the land border and properly settling arising cases according to three legal documents on the land border between Việt Nam and China.
They also agreed to continue to strictly adhere to the high-level common perception on maintaining peace and stability at sea, including the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues.
They also agreed to promote negotiation mechanisms to achieve substantive progress and accelerate the negotiation of a new agreement on fisheries cooperation in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Việt Nam and China will soon sign a cooperation agreement on search and rescue at sea and an agreement to set up a hotline for unscheduled cases of fishing activities at sea.
Vietnamese diplomat Minh emphasised that the two sides need to make efforts to control disagreements well, not take actions to complicate the situation and expand disputes; respect each other's legitimate rights and interests following international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and jointly maintain peace and stability in the East Sea.
The two sides signed several documents including an agreement on economic and technical cooperation on the provision of grants between the two countries for the fiscal year 2020, and a protocol on phytosanitary requirements for Vietnamese durian exported to China. VNS