Vietnamese, Chinese PMs discuss border trade, reopening South China Sea in phone call

September 20, 2022 - 07:15
The two Government leaders noted with satisfaction the progress in Party and State relations over recent times, especially amid complicated international and regional developments, including COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Monday discussed on the phone with Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has asked China to facilitate customs clearance and expand imports, especially agricultural products, as well as restore operations at border gates.

He made the request to Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang on Monday as the two held their second phone discussion in 2022.

The Government leaders noted with satisfaction the progress in Party and State relations over recent times, especially amid complicated international and regional developments, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two Prime Ministers affirmed the importance of Việt Nam-China relations for each country, emphasising that they would continue to concretise the important common perceptions reached in recent phone discussions between Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng and General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping, to continue to bring relations into a new stage of development with higher political trust, and more practical and effective cooperation.

On this occasion, PM Chính conveyed cordial greetings from General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng, State President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ and other senior Vietnamese leaders to Chinese General Secretary and President Xi Jinping, the PM and other senior leaders of China.

On the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the National Day of China (October 1, 1949 - October 1, 2022), PM Chính congratulated China on its comprehensive development; expressing the belief that China would successfully complete the goal of building a modern, prosperous, democratic, civilised and harmonious socialist country.

PM Chính also sent his best wishes for the success of the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, noting that it would certainly mark a new important milestone on the road building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The Vietnamese leader also expressed his gratitude to the Chinese Government and people for the donation of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses along with medical supplies to help Việt Nam during the worst of the COVID outbreak.

Highlighting the important and necessary significance of this phone call, Chinese PM Li Keqiang conveyed greetings from Chinese senior leaders to the Vietnamese senior leaders, and congratulated Việt Nam on important achievements in COVID-19 fight and socio-economic development, especially in controlling inflation and maintaining a high economic growth rate in difficult conditions.

The two PMs highly appreciated the achievements in bilateral relations in the past and the high-level exchanges and contacts that took place regularly in flexible formats. Trade cooperation continued to record growth, prolonged congestion at border gates was gradually reducing, while Chinese investment in Việt Nam continued to increase.

Regarding future cooperation, the two leaders agreed to strengthen high-level contacts, particularly preparations for visits following China’s Party Congress, promoting the sustainable and harmonious cooperation, and facilitating travel between the two countries.

PM Chính suggested the two sides actively coordinate to bring the bilateral trade turnover to stable and balanced growth, requesting China to facilitate customs clearance and expand the import of goods, especially speeding up the progress of market opening for Việt Nam’s agricultural products.

He also urged China to comprehensively resume operations at border checkpoints and improve customs clearance capacity, and coordinate with Việt Nam to implement and make good use of opportunities from multilateral free trade agreements.

PM Chính also suggested that China increase high-quality investment in fields suitable to Việt Nam’s needs and sustainable development strategy as well as actively discuss and resolve outstanding problems in a number of projects between the two countries, such as the expansion of Thái Nguyên Iron and Steel Plant Phase II, Ninh Bình and Hà Bắc fertiliser plants.

He also wants China to soon open more commercial flights between the two countries; raise the level of cooperation, effectively respond to emerging challenges; and work together to ensure energy security, food security, water security, cyber security, enhance the exchange of experiences on stabilising macroeconomic situation, controlling inflation, and promoting growth.

Prime Minister Li Keqiang highly appreciated, appreciated and agreed with PM Chính’s comments on cooperation areas between the two countries, especially opening up the market for Vietnamese agricultural products more and bilateral coordination to promote the settlement of long-standing backlog of important cooperation projects.

The Chinese PM also suggested strengthening strategic connectivity; promoting cooperation in economy, trade and investment, especially in the fields of manufacturing, agriculture, and in maintaining supply chains and chains, bringing into play mutual advantages to jointly expand exploiting the world market.

On the basis of effective coordination in COVID-19 prevention and control, China announced that it was ready to promote the restoration of people-to-people exchange activities, welcome Vietnamese students back to China, and increase frequency of commercial flights.

Regarding border and territorial issues, they agreed to continue effective communication channels on land borders and maritime issues, advance the expansion of common ground and properly handle differences, to maintain general peace and stability.

PM Chính suggested they continue to implement three legal documents on the land border between Việt Nam and China; jointly making efforts to maintain peace, stability, and properly handle maritime issues in the spirit of high-level understanding and the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of maritime issues between Việt Nam and China; accelerating negotiations at sea; settling disputes and disagreements by peaceful means, in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).

The two PMs agreed to direct to continue cooperation and promote the negotiation mechanisms on maritime delimitation and cooperation, together with ASEAN countries to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, striving to build a Code of Conduct that is substantive, effective, and in line with international law, including UNCLOS 1982.

Chinese PM Li Keqiang also cordially invited PM Chính and other senior Vietnamese leaders to visit China at the earliest opportunities. — VNS