Việt Nam proposes Mekong-Lancang countries focus on fighting COVID-19, economy, environment

June 08, 2021 - 20:46

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn yesterday proposed major measures to realise the tasks, including sharing information and experience in fighting the pandemic and facilitating the cross-border circulation of goods.


Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn and Chinese State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi. - VNA Photo



BEIJING- Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn yesterday suggested the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) implement the three urgent tasks of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining economic growth, and preventing environmental degradation.

Addressing the sixth MLC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Chongqing, China, Sơn proposed major measures to realise the tasks, including sharing information and experience in fighting the pandemic and facilitating the cross-border circulation of goods.

Other measures include stepping up cooperation in the sustainable management and use of water resources in the Mekong River and promoting coordination between the MLC and ASEAN and other regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms.

Foreign ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, China, and Việt Nam spoke highly of cooperative outcomes over the last five years, especially in the management of water resources in the Mekong River.

They pledged to enhance the MLC by consolidating friendly neighbourliness, actively contributing to the socio-economic development of member countries, building the ASEAN Community, and realising sustainable development goals by 2030.

The ministers emphasised the fundamental cooperation principles of consensus, equality, mutual consultation, interest sharing, and respect for the UN Charter, the ASEAN Charter, and international law, in line with the regulations and laws of each country.

The meeting adopted three documents on enhancing cooperation in sustainable development, encouraging cooperation between localities, and cooperation in traditional medicine.

The MLC will pay attention to cooperation in water resources and environment, the COVID-19 fight, post-pandemic economic recovery through boosting trade and investment ties between the six countries, and promoting partnerships between authorities in localities to utilise their potential and competitive edge.

Vietnamese, Chinese Foreign Ministers hold talks

The Vietnamese also held talks with Chinese State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi on the sidelines of the ministers meeting.

Sơn congratulated the Communist Party of China on its 100th founding anniversary on July 1, 2021 and its achievements in socio-economic development and COVID-19 prevention and control.

Wang congratulated Việt Nam on the successful organisation of the 13th National Party Congress.

The two ministers extensively discussed bilateral ties and regional and global issues of shared concern.

Affirming the importance of Việt Nam - China ties in each country’s foreign policy, they expressed delight at the development of the friendly neighbourliness and the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership over the past years.

Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng, State President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, and Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính of Việt Nam have held important phone talks with Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang and reached common perceptions on strengthening ties between the two Parties and countries.

Both sides agreed to uphold the two foreign ministries’ important role in coordinating and promoting bilateral ties, devise specific measures to implement high-level common perceptions such as facilitating exchanges at all levels, promoting exchanges and cooperation between the two countries’ ministries, departments, and localities, and jointly fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

They pledged to lift economic-trade and investment ties in a practical, healthy, and balanced manner and foster people-to-people exchanges while maintaining cooperation at multilateral forums, especially at the UN and within the framework of ASEAN.

The two ministers consented to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea and soon reach a practical and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Sơn suggested China make it easier for Vietnamese farm produce to enter the country, especially fruits in harvest, soon complete procedures to open and upgrade several border gates, effectively deploy Chinese aid to Việt Nam, and promptly complete existing projects.

On the East Sea issue, the Vietnamese minister proposed that both sides seriously realise high-level common perceptions and abide by international law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS, uphold the role of negotiation mechanisms, and seek basic and long-term solutions to the issue.

Wang, for his part, affirmed that China wants to enhance strategic exchange and political trust with Vietnam, and deepen the mutually beneficial relationship in a healthy and stable manner.

He expressed China’s support for Việt Nam in its fight against the pandemic, including the supply, research, and production of vaccines.

China is ready to import more Vietnamese goods in conformity with the Chinese market's demand, Wang said. VNA/VNS