China, Vietnam gear up to advance bilateral tiesUpdated: 2013-10-13 13:53
HANOI - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived Sunday for an official visit to Vietnam, bringing along a fresh opportunity to further consolidate mutual trust and boost bilateral cooperation.
During his stay, Li will meet leaders of the neighboring country for discussions on promoting bilateral friendship and deepening strategic cooperation, and the two sides are expected to ink multiple cooperation documents.
Particularly, the premier's visit will help push forward bilateral cooperation along three main lines: maritime cooperation, onshore cooperation and financial cooperation, said Qu Xing, president of the China Institute of International Studies.
Maritime cooperation covers such areas as environmental protection and safety of navigation, onshore cooperation pertains to law enforcement, inter-connectivity and infrastructure, while financial cooperation is aimed at jointly coping with the impact of the international financial crisis, he added.
Vietnam is the last leg of Li's first Southeast Asia tour as premier, which has taken him to Brunei and Thailand. While in Brunei, he attended a series of East Asian leaders' meetings and expounded China's policy on promoting regional cooperation and development.
The trip, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said Monday, will bear rich fruit and lift China's relations with the three countries and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at large to a higher level.
China and Vietnam are linked by land and sea. Both sides pay great attention to the development of their relationship, which features a bond as "good neighbors, good friends, good comrades and good partners."
This year has witnessed frequent high-level contact between the two countries. Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang visited China in June, and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung traveled to the southern Chinese city of Nanning for the 10th China-ASEAN Expo in early September.
During the intensive interaction, the two sides agreed that their deep-rooted traditional friendship is a treasure for both peoples and serves as a solid foundation for the future development of bilateral ties.
In the economic domain, they have pledged continued efforts to expand practical cooperation in such areas as agriculture, fishery, transportation, energy and manufacturing.
In a joint statement issued during the June presidential visit, the two countries vowed to strive for a balanced growth of bilateral trade and achieve in advance the goal of raising their trade volume to 60 billion U.S. dollars by 2015. The figure was more than 50 billion dollars last year.
As regards the outstanding disputes between them, leaders of the two countries have agreed to handle them in a proper way and prevent them from turning the China-Vietnam relationship away from the right course.
In his meeting with the visiting Vietnamese president in June, Li called on the two sides to refrain from unilateral moves that would escalate or internationalize the South China Sea issue and cause unnecessary troubles in bilateral cooperation.
China, the premier said, is willing to make joint efforts with Vietnam to push ahead with joint development of the sea and create favorable conditions for an appropriate solution to the South China Sea issue.
Truong Tan Sang agreed that Vietnam and China should manage and resolve sea-related issues through friendly consultations, advance maritime cooperation step by step, reduce their differences, increase common interests and thus pursue common prosperity.
In a promising sign, preliminary cooperation programs are already under way in waters outside the mouth of the Beibu Bay, a semi-enclosed sea whose delimitation remains under negotiation between China and Vietnam.