Vietnam’s Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong suggested China and Vietnam maintain the status quo in the East Sea and avoid actions that complicate the situation and enlarge the dispute.
He made the remarks during his talks with Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping in Hanoi on Thursday afternoon. Xi arrived at the Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport at noon, starting a two-day state visit to Vietnam.
Trong said the Chinese leader’s visit is of great significance as the two countries are celebrating the 65th founding anniversary of their diplomatic ties and the relations between the two Parties and countries are growing.
He welcomed the Chinese government’s transferring of a US$300 million concessional loan to the construction of the Mong Cai-Van Don highway project and its provision of another $250 million preferential loan to the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese Party chief also appreciated China’s decision to provide a 1 billion Yuan aid for Vietnam in the next five years for the building of social welfare facilities such as schools and hospitals.
Not to pursue militarization
Trong said the two countries should well manage their differences and maintain peace and stability in the East Sea, not letting the issue affect the bilateral ties.
The Vietnamese Party chief proposed China together Vietnam become the pioneers in implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) seriously and fully and soon coming up with the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
He said the two sides should not pursue militarization in the East Sea and build and strengthen strategic trust for the favorable implementation of agreed cooperation projects at sea.
Trong urged the two countries to implement negotiation mechanisms designed for maritime-related issues in an effective and pragmatic manner while actively seeking fundamental and long-term measures for the matters acceptable to both.
Vietnam has showed a constructive attitude towards cooperation for mutual development at disputed waters in line with international law, especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), he said.
On this occasion, he invited Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping to attend the APEC Summit, scheduled to be held in Vietnam in 2017.
For his part, the Chinese leader said the two countries should increase political trust and step up dialogues and collaboration in foreign affairs, national defense and security and humanistic exchange.
The two sides should thoroughly grasp the sound development orientations of the Vietnam-China relationship, he said.
China will encourage its businesses to forge trade cooperation and expand investments in Vietnam while coordinating with the neighbor to well manage disputes at sea and preserve the bilateral relationship as well as peace and stability in the East Sea, Xi noted.
China and the ASEAN member countries will spare no effort to accelerate negotiations to build the COC, contributing to maintaining peace, prosperity and development in the region and the world at large, Xi said.
He also accepted General Secretary Trong’s invitation to attend the APEC 2017.
Following the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a number of documents, including an agreement on free travel of ships at the mouth of the Bac Luan River on the Vietnam-China border and another on cooperation in protecting and exploiting tourism resources of the Ban Gioc Waterfall between the two governments.
Later on Thursday Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Xi is scheduled to meet Vietnamese National Assembly's Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung and deliver a speech before the National Assembly on Friday.
Before being greeted by Vietnamese Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his spouse were welcomed with a 21-gun salute in front of the Presidential Palace in Hanoi. This is the first visit by a Chinese president to Vietnam in 10 years.
The bilateral trade and investment relations have grown significantly. Trade reached US$49 billion in the first nine months of 2015, a year-on-year increase of 16 percent. Of this, $12.4 billion came from Vietnam’s exports.
Total investment of more than $8.4 billion in 1,180 projects made China the ninth largest foreign investor in Vietnam at the end of last year, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
In terms of tourism, China remained the country to send the most tourists to Vietnam, with 12.6 million visiting between January and September.