The 12th Meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation Held

On July 21, 2020, the 12th Meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation was held in Beijing via videolink. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi co-chaired the meeting with Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Vietnam.

Wang Yi said, the Chinese side always views its cooperation with Vietnam from a strategic and long-term view. Since the onset of the COVID-19, China and Vietnam, by giving play to respective institutional advantages, have successfully controlled the spread of the epidemic, and witnessed an increase of over 18 percent in bilateral trade volume in the first half of the year. This reflects the huge potential of bilateral cooperation and respective strengths of our two countries, which should be cherished by both sides. Pham Binh Minh reiterated, Vietnam always regards developing its relations with China as the top priority in its foreign policies, speaks positively of the progress of bilateral cooperation in recent years, and is fully confident in the development prospects of Vietnam-China relations.

Wang Yi stressed, both China and Vietnam are socialist countries led by a communist party. Despite the differences in national conditions, both countries adhere to the leadership of communist party and socialist system. It is the choice of the two peoples, and also the foundation of the two countries. It conforms to the common and fundamental interests of both sides. Pham Binh Minh said, Vietnam, as a socialist country led by a communist party, will stay committed to the path of socialism and see it as a guiding principle to realize national development.

Wang Yi said, some extremist forces in the United States (US) have recently provoked ideological disputes, and even forced countries to take sides, in an attempt to revive the notorious McCarthyism and go against the trend of history. Their shows will continue, but the world will see through their evil motives of making fragmentation and confrontation.

Both sides reviewed and summarized the work which had been done since the last meeting, put forth a series of suggestions for bilateral cooperation in the next phase, and reached much consensus. Both sides agreed to take the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to continue to strengthen strategic communication, and boost cooperation in various areas, including anti-COVID-19 cooperation, so as to inject fresh impetus into the sound and sustainable development of bilateral relations.

On the South China Sea issue, Wang Yi said, the South China Sea is our shared homeland. China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are permanent neighbors. It is our shared wishes to seek peace and promote development. China's policy regarding the South China Sea has not changed, but remains consistent. Due to geostrategic needs, however, the US fanned the flames everywhere and kept sending a number of aircraft carriers and warships to flex muscles in the South China Sea. Its aim is to stir up tension and turmoil in the region, jeopardize the solidarity among the countries in the region and undermine the development prospect of all countries and the region as a whole. Regional countries should be highly alert. China and Vietnam should control differences through bilateral dialogue and consultation in accordance with the consensus reached by the top leaders of the two parties and countries. Moreover, the two countries should seek a fair and reasonable solution according to a series of agreements signed by both sides. China and Vietnam, together with other ASEAN countries, should abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and push forward the consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, instead of giving any opportunity for interference and destruction by external forces.

Pham Binh Minh introduced the Vietnamese side’s stance on the South China Sea issue, and expressed the willingness to work with the Chinese side to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, and promote maritime cooperation and common development. This conforms to the interests of both countries, and also serves the common aspiration of countries inside and outside the region.

Pham Binh Minh, on behalf of the Vietnamese side, also sent regards to the Chinese people who were suffering from flood. Wang Yi expressed gratitude in this regard.

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