Vietnamese officials received Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Hanoi on Friday and expressed the desire to expand cooperation between the two strategic partners.
Communist Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong received Yi by suggesting that both countries enhance high-level exchanges to boost strategic relations.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) meets with Vietnam's Communist Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in Hanoi, Dec. 1, 2023.
The Vietnamese Party leader expressed appreciation for positive developments in the relations between the two countries' governments and Communist Parties, especially achievements accomplished during the past 15 years of their official comprehensive strategic partnership, according to a statement from the Communist Party Committee's Foreign Affairs Commission.
Yi arrived in Vietnam Friday for a two-day visit to co-host the 15th session of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation together with Vietnam's Deputy PM Tran Luu Quang.
He agreed with Trong's instructions about deepening the relations between Vietnam and China, saying that the two countries will continue to boost cooperation in various fields and strengthen mutual political trust.
China has been Vietnam's largest commercial partner for several years, while Vietnam is China’s largest partner in ASEAN. Bilateral trade turnover between the two countries in 2022 reached $175.6 billion, with Vietnam’s exports reaching $57.7 billion, according to Vietnam Customs.
China became Vietnam's largest importer of agricultural, forestry and aquaculture products in the first 10 months. Chinese investments in Vietnam continued to rise over the period, with a new focus on digital economy and green growth. The countries have completed negotiations on many important cooperation agreements, including a memorandum of understanding on promoting connections between the Two Corridors, One Belt framework as a part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
But officials at the cooperation committee’s session also mentioned areas where cooperation has not met potential and expectations, as well as the slow speed of projects being conducted with Chinese aid, and prolonged issues at several industrial cooperation projects.
Officials from both sides agreed to settle these problems in the coming time while furthering cooperation in sectors such as science and technology, environment, transport, agriculture and health care. They also concurred on expanding cooperation in culture, education and tourism.
They agreed to increase Chinese investment in areas that use advanced technology and are environment-friendly in Vietnam.
Deputy PM Quang said the two countries should cooperate to improve goods clearance procedures at border, and speed up the opening of Chinese markets for certain Vietnamese agriculture and aquaculture products.
He called for the early opening of the Vietnam trade promotion office in China – at Haikou, Hainan Province – to facilitate the promotion of Vietnamese goods on its northern neighbor’s markets.
He also asked for both sides to control and properly settle disputes at sea, respect each other’s legal interest in accordance with international law, and work with other ASEAN countries to establish the ASEAN-China Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.