Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh talked over the phone with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on January 13, on the occasion of the 72nd founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (January 18, 1950 - 2022). PM Chinh affirmed that the traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Vietnam and China is the top priority in Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, and multilateralism and diversification of foreign relations. The two countries’ relationship is crucial to the stability and development of each side and also beneficial to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world at large, he emphasised. The Vietnamese PM noted after 35 years of Doi moi (Renewal), under the leadership of many generations of leaders, currently Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnam has been building, supplementing, and increasingly perfecting the theory on socialism and the path to socialism in the country. Sharing his Vietnamese counterpart’s view, Premier Li congratulated Vietnam on its achievements in the COVID-19 combat and socio-economic recovery and development. He stressed that China attaches great importance to the ties with Vietnam and wishes to enhance their time-tested friendship and unceasingly develop the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a substantive manner. China highly values and consistently supports Vietnam in following the path to socialism that matches the latter’s situation, he affirmed.
The two PMs applauded the countries’ high-level meetings last year, especially the phone talks between their Party General Secretaries. Despite the pandemic’s adverse impacts, bilateral trade still hit a record of over 160 billion USD in 2021, the Cat Linh - Ha Dong metro line has been put into operation, and especially the two sides have worked closely with each other to deal with the farm produce congestion at border gates. Regarding the goods congestion at border gates, PM Chinh underlined that both sides should coordinate closely and adopt effective and drastic solutions to this problem, thus ensuring smooth trading and maintaining supply and production chains between the two countries as well as in the region, particularly in the coming Lunar New Year holiday. He asked China to continue increasing imports and accelerate the opening of its market to some agricultural products of Vietnam. Premier Li highlighted his attention to Vietnam’s recommendations about economic, trade, and investment links, considering this as an important field in bilateral cooperation. He ordered relevant ministries, sectors, and localities of China to settle the issue, and suggested both sides set up a joint working group to continue dealing with it, thereby facilitating Vietnamese farm products' entry into China and maintain the trade flow. In terms of border and territorial affairs, PM Chinh asked the two sides to keep effectively implementing the three documents on the Vietnam - China land border; further bring into play negotiation mechanisms to sustain peace and stability in the East Sea; respect each other’s legitimate and legal interests that are in line with international law, properly handle sea-related issues in accordance with the high-level common perceptions and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; and actively boost talks so as to soon finalise a substantive and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea matching international law. The Chinese leader expressed his hope that the negotiation mechanisms on sea-related issues between the two countries will be stepped up so that substantive progress is obtained, adding that his country is ready to join Vietnam and other ASEAN countries in striving to reach a COC early. During the talks, the leaders agreed to maintain channels of discussion about land border and sea-related issues, promote consensus, iron out differences, and maintain common peace and stability./.