China, Vietnam vow to maintain South China Sea as a sea of peace and cooperation

HANOI: Chinese and Vietnamese senior officials co-chaired 15th Meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation on Friday here in Hanoi and reached a series of consensus points on advancing comprehensive strategic cooperation between the two countries, vowing to maintain the South China Sea as a sea of peace and cooperation.

We are willing to work with Vietnam to make good use of the committee, a general management mechanism for overall coordination of bilateral cooperation, make overall planning for cooperation in the next stage and make positive contributions to advancing China-Vietnam relations in the new era, Wang Yi, Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chinese Foreign Minister, said at the meeting.

The two sides should maintain high-level strategic communication, constantly build consensus and enhance mutual trust. Both countries should also strengthen cooperation mechanisms in national defense, public security and security, as well as deepen non-traditional security cooperation such as counter-terrorism and combating telecommunications fraud, Wang said.

China’s top diplomat also called on the two sides to leverage the advantages of geographical proximity and industrial complementarity, deepen cooperation in the fields of economic affairs and trade, interconnectivity,  and jointly create a mutually beneficial, stable and smooth production and supply chain system.

China and Vietnam are expected to work together to safeguard international equality and justice, practice true multilateralism, and support each other on issues concerning their respective major interests.

The two countries should abide by high-level consensus, insist on managing differences through friendly consultation, actively promote maritime cooperation, and safeguard  hard-won peace and stability in the South China Sea, Wang said.

Wang Yi arrived in Hanoi on Friday for a two-day visit as part of frequent bilateral interactions between China and Vietnam. Some experts expect this visit to consolidate bilateral consensus and pave the way for the two countries to further develop bilateral relations and yield substantial, mutually beneficial results.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang said during the meeting that Vietnam is willing to strengthen high-level mutual visits and actively carry out inter-Party and parliamentary exchanges with China.

They should utilize the coordinating role of the committee to enhance collaboration in diplomacy, defense, and security, the Vietnamese official said, noting that the Southeast Asian country is also committed to achieving greater development in economic, trade, investment, and financial cooperation, as well as enhancing collaboration in transportation, agriculture, environmental protection, science and technology, tourism, education, and local exchanges.

Vietnam is also seeking to expand cooperation in artificial intelligence and green energy with China, he noted.

In line with the consensus reached by the leaders of both countries, we will manage differences effectively and jointly promote consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea so as to build the South China Sea into a sea of peace and cooperation, Quang said.

On Friday local time, Wang also met with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong and Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, respectively.

During the meeting with Bui Thanh Son, Wang also called the two sides to actively promote mutually beneficial maritime cooperation, prevent the intervention of external forces, accelerate consultations on the Code of Conduct on South China Sea.

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