Monday, 20 May 2019
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In Beijing, Vietnam PM talks economic, South China Sea issues with top Chinese leaders

Updated at Saturday, 27 Apr 2019, 23:35
The Hanoitimes - Measures to narrow trade gap and efforts to promote the delimitation of the Tonkin Gulf are the central points of the working sessions.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has discussed economic and South China Sea issues with Chinese Party Chief and President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing. 
 
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: VGP
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: VGP
Phuc highlighted the issues when he joined talks with the top Chinese leaders during his visit to Beijing for the second Belt and Road Forum from April 25-27, the Vietnamese government said on its website.

Economic issues  

In the meeting with Li Keqiang, Phuc highly appreciated China for its efforts to narrow trade gap between the two countries by allowing more Vietnamese products to enter the Chinese market. 

In terms of investment, Phuc asked China to speed up major but sluggish projects that Chinese firms are taking charges in Vietnam; provide appropriate landing time for Vietnamese airlines; boost the signing of railway projects, including Lao Cai – Hekou route; facilitate the participation of both Vietnamese and Chinese firms in the Chongqing – Singapore transport links. 

He hoped that Chinese firms would apply advanced technologies to their projects in Vietnam which are environmentally friendly and effectively. 

In terms of trade, Phuc expected that China would import more Vietnamese products, including farm produce like pork and bird nests. 

In turn, Li Keqiang said that Beijing doesn’t intend to pursue trade surplus with Vietnam and the Chinese government is willing take drastic measures to balance the two-way trade. China will tackle problems and encourage Chinese firms to boost trade and expand investment in Vietnam.

 
Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang. Photo: VGP
Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang. Photo: VGP
Political issues

The two PMs discussed cooperation in different fields, regardless of education, tourism, environment, culture, and notably border and sea issues. 

In talks with both President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, Phuc said the two sides should strictly follow the top leaderships’ consensus on Agreement on Basic Principles Guiding the Settlement of Sea-Related Issues to restrain and avoid complicating the situation while promoting negotiations on maritime issues. 

He expected that Hanoi and Beijing would make progress on the delimitation of the Gulf of Tonkin by 2020, solve fishing and fishermen issues on the humanitarian spirit, soon sign an agreement on rescuing at sea, extend the agreement on operating hotlines at sea, effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), substantively build the China and ASEAN on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.

The Vietnamese PM said he expected further implementation of three agreements on Vietnam-China border demarcation and deepened cooperation in regional and international forums. 

After the working session between the two PMs, Vietnam and China signed three cooperation agreements namely one in economic cooperation between the Vietnamese and Chinese governments, a protocol on veterinary requirements and public health on milk products imported from Vietnam, and a plan on culture and tourism cooperation for the 2019-2021 period. 
Linh Pham
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