*note: Both articles from Nhan Dan Online, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
At the meeting ( Image: chinhphu.vn )
China attaches great importance to developing the friendly and neighbourly relations and mutually beneficial co-operation with Vietnam in all fields, said Vice Premier Li Keqiang.
Li made the statement in Hainan on March 31 during a meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Hoang Trung Hai, who is there for the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2012.
Li welcomed Hai to the forum, saying this shows the Vietnamese Government’s desire to boost economic cooperation in the region, as well as economic and trade ties between the two countries.
Both host and guest acknowledged recent positive developments in bilateral relations, especially those made after the China visit by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong last October and the Vietnam visit by Vice President Xi Jinping last December.
The two countries should work closely in grasping and strictly implementing common perceptions reached by their senior leaders to foster the development of the two countries’ friendship and cooperation, they said.
They agreed that both countries should continue to maintain high-level contacts and visits, considering them a decisive element in strengthening bilateral relations.
They proposed relevant Vietnamese and Chinese agencies quickly identify and sign the list of joint cooperation projects in 2011-2015 for early and effective realisation towards two-way trade to US$60 billion by 2015.
Regarding the sea issue, Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai emphasised that both sides need to strictly enforce the two countries’ common perceptions and the agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of sea issues between Vietnam and China so as to satisfactorily resolve arising sea-related disputes and issues.
Deputy PM Hai requested China to unconditionally release two fishing vessels and 21 Vietnamese fishermen aboard seized by China, and not to take action to further complicate the situation.
The same day, Deputy PM Hai met with Lou Baoming, Secretary of the Hainan provincial Party Committee, who noted that trade, investment and economic ties between Hainan and Vietnamese localities have grown rapidly, with two-way trade last year increasing by 50%.
However, Lou Baoming said that Hainan and Vietnam have great potential for stronger cooperation and that the province wants to increase friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation with Vietnam.
China holding a yacht race to the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago, seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty, said Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Luong Thanh Nghi.
In response to the Hainan authorities organising a yacht race, called “the Sinan Cup” from Sanya to the archipelago on March 30, Nghi stated unequivocally that this is contrary to China’s commitment not to raise tensions in the East Sea.
“Vietnam is strongly against the race taking place and demands that China calls it off and complies with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea in order to maintain peace and stability in the area,” he said.