Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (R) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping after arriving in Beijing on April 7, 2015. Photo credit: Vietnam News Agency
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Chinese Party General Secretary and State President Xi Jinping confirmed Tuesday the two countries will boost their strategic partnership and settle disagreement for the interests of the two countries’ peoples and regional and international community.
The two leaders held talks after Trong arrived in Beijing for his official China visit.
Xi said he was fully confident that the visit would be a milestone in bilateral ties, fostering trust and friendship and taking cooperation between the two Communist Parties and countries to a new level.
The Party and government of China treasured the traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with Vietnam, he said.
The Vietnamese Party leader assured his host that the stable and sustainable development of friendly cooperation with China was a consistent priority in Vietnam's foreign policy.
Reflecting on 65 years of diplomatic ties, the two leaders shared the view that friendly and positive cooperation remained the mainstay of their relationship.
Since the normalization of ties, Vietnam and China have set forth a vision to push ties between the two Parties and countries forward in the spirit of "good neighburs, good friends, good comrades and good partnerships", and under the motto of "friendly neighburs, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability and future vision."
The leaders admitted that obstacles had been experienced in the growth of bilateral relations at certain times. They pointed to a drop in the high levels of political trust as a result of differences in dealing with the East Sea (South China Sea) issue that had negatively affected sentiments of officials, Party members and society.
To seize opportunities and efficiently cope with challenges in the context of complicated regional and international situations, the two Parties and countries need to enhance friendly co-operation, settle their differences properly, and together create a peaceful and stable environment for national development, they said, adding that this would benefit the peoples of both countries as well as regional and international communities, they said.
In the spirit of openness and sincerity, the two General Secretaries reached consensus on several important orientations to strengthen trust and elevate their comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership in a result-oriented, healthy, stable and sustainable manner.
They agreed to facilitate visits by Party and State leaders and fully upholding existing mechanisms to deal with emerging issues.
They also agreed to intensify efforts to fully realize previous commitments, boost multiple-level exchanges and continue strengthening co-operative mechanisms between the two Parties.
They would also step up the sharing of experiences in Party building, fighting corruption, providing political and ideological education and boosting socio-economic development.
The leaders said friendship between the two countries would also be expanded through the National Assembly and mass organizations like the Vietnam Fatherland Front.
They upheld the role of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation in monitoring joint efforts as stipulated in the action plan on realizing a comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership between the two countries. Any issues that arise would be promptly dealt with, the leaders agreed.
Enhanced diplomatic, national defense and security engagements alongside joint economic and trade activities will build a solid foundation for their relations, they said.
Trong said Vietnam welcomed Chinese investment, particularly in infrastructure projects and in the development of its support industry.
He urged China to choose capable and financially strong contractors to ensure that their projects in Vietnam meet deadlines and quality specifications.
The Chinese side agreed to encourage domestic firms to import competitive Vietnamese goods while actively working to amend the agreement on Vietnam-China border trade.
Vietnam and China will also formulate plans for cross-border economic development and step up the pace of projects on infrastructure connectivity, agriculture, engineering, services, science-technology, medicine and quarantines.
Xi promised to support Chinese and Vietnamese investors seeking to expand their business in either country, adding that China wants to import more Vietnamese goods rather than seek a trade surplus.
The two leaders declared establishment of the Working Groups on Infrastructure and Currency Co-operation while promoting activities of working groups on land and sea cooperation.
They also agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in education, culture, information, sports, tourism and the environment while stepping up people-to-people exchange, especially among the youth, patriots and academics.
Local exchanges and co-operation, especially among border localities, would be enhanced and more attention would be given to the popularization and education of the traditional solidarity and friendship between the two Parties, countries and people to foster and cement their social foundation, they noted.
Regarding sea issues, the two sides underscored the need to strictly implement the "Agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues between Vietnam and China".
They stressed the need for sound negotiation mechanisms for Vietnam-China border areas as well as friendly dialogues to seek fundamental and long-term solutions acceptable to both sides.
Additional efforts would be needed to study transitional measures without affecting each side's stance and policy, the leaders said.
Both sides should deftly manage disputes at sea while expediting the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" (DOC) and working towards a "Code of Conduct in the South China Sea" (COC).
The leaders also agreed on avoiding actions that could complicate disputes and promptly taking measures to solve issues so as to maintain Vietnam-China relations and peace and stability in the East Sea/South China Sea.
They pointed to the design of the COC as crucial to addressing issues at sea. China has been working with ASEAN in regards to the issue.
The two sides agreed to step up operations of a working group on co-operation for mutual development at sea, reinforce connections in less sensitive fields, accelerate talks on the delineation of areas off the Bac Bo (Tonkin) gulf, promote co-operation for mutual development in these waters, and launch a joint survey in the waters off the Tonkin Gulf in 2015.
The Vietnamese side welcomed the regional connectivity initiatives proposed by China and pledged participation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and benefits.
The Party leaders agreed on a "words go well with deeds" approach to strengthening political trust and friendship between the two countries and elevate bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a healthy, stable, sustainable and in-depth manner.
They also discussed regional and international issues of shared concern.
On behalf of the Vietnamese Party and State, Trong invited Xi to pay an official visit to Vietnam. Xi expressed pleasure in accepting the invitation.
Later, the two Party leaders and other senior officials witnessed the signing of co-operative agreements between the two Parties, Government, ministries and agencies.
These included a co-operation plan between the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Communist Party of China; an extradition treaty; a memorandum of understanding on co-operation in United Nations peacekeeping between the Vietnamese and Chinese Defense Ministries; and a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a working group on land infrastructure between the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission.
Other agreements set the terms of reference for a working group on financial and monetary co-operation between the State Bank of Vietnam and the People's Bank of China; an agreement on taxation for a joint oil and gas exploration project in the Tonkin Gulf between the two Finance Ministries; and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in making thematic TV films.
Earlier, the leaders visited an exhibition showing photos and materials of ten theoretical workshops held by the two Parties.
Meeting the youth
The two party leaders met with Vietnamese and Chinese youth in Beijing Tuesday.
Trong called for more friendship exchanges and result-oriented co-operation between the youth to enhance mutual understanding.
He urged the youth of both countries to contribute to national development as well as growth in bilateral friendship fostered by late Presidents Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong and generations of revolutionaries and leaders.
The Vietnam – China friendship is precious asset that needs to be valued and preserved, he said.
For his part, Xi Jinping expressed his hope that young generations in both countries would inherit the traditional friendship and carry it forward.
Both sides should step up people-to-people exchanges so that the Vietnam-China amity is passed down through generations, he said.