Consolidating Vietnam-China Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership

3:40:40 PM | 11/23/2022

At the invitation of General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong led a high-ranking official delegation of the Party and the State to China from October 30 to November 1, 2022.

General Secretary of CPC’s Central Committee and President of China Xi Jinping welcomes General Secretary of CPV’s Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong

The visit, which took place right after the end of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), underscored particular importance for both Vietnam and China. The visit aimed to actively and vigorously implement the foreign policy of the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and enhance mutual understanding and political trust between the two Communist Parties, two States and two peoples.

During the visit, General Secretary Trong held talks with CPC General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping; received the Friendship Order of China from President Xi on behalf of the Party and the Government of China; met with Premier Li Keqiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Li Zhanshu, and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Wang Yang. At these encounters, the two sides informed each other of the situations of their respective Parties and countries; exchanged ideas; and reached important common perceptions of bilateral relations between the two parties and the two countries, as well current international and regional situations.

Wrapping up the visit, the two sides pronounced the Vietnam-China Joint Statement on continually accelerated and deepened Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Strengthening and deepening comprehensive strategic partnership

According to the Joint Statement, Vietnam and China assessed that the world is experiencing historical, profound and unpredictable changes and entering a new period of upheavals. The two parties and countries need to persistently pursue their goals, ideals and missions of striving for people's happiness and human progress; persistently view and develop the bilateral relations from a strategic perspective with a long-term vision; uphold the motto of “friendly neighborliness, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability and future-oriented thinking” and the spirit of "good neighbors, good friends, good comrades, good partners", and promote the long-term, healthy and stable development of Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era.

To do so, the two sides need to enhance strategic exchanges and political trust, persist with equality and mutual respect, firmly grasp the right direction ahead of Vietnam-China relations; deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and foster harmony of interests, thus helping bring happiness to peoples and improve their living standards; properly handle disagreements on the basis of mutual understanding and respect, preserve Vietnam-China relations and peace and stability in the region, and create a good external environment for the development of both countries; strengthen coordination on international issues, join hands in responding to regional and global challenges, contribute positively to maintaining peace, and promote common development in the region and the world.

The two sides said that the two parties’ top leaders maintaining regular exchanges, orienting and guiding the Vietnam-China relationship play an important strategic orienting role in the relationship development between the two Parties and countries. 

The two sides agreed to promote the role of the Steering Committee for Vietnam-China Bilateral Cooperation and the Master Plan, and intensify exchanges and cooperation in diplomacy, national defense and security, law enforcement and other fields. They will also work to implement the agreement on enhancing cooperation between the two Foreign Ministries in the new situation and maintain regular meetings between the two ministries' leaders and exchanges between their departments.

The two nations agreed to actively promote connectivity of their development strategies, accelerate discussion on and the signing of a cooperation plan between the two governments on promoting connectivity between the “Two corridors, one belt” Framework and the “Belt and Road” Initiative, roll out cooperation in production capacity, infrastructure construction and transport connectivity, and quickly complete the evaluation of Lao Cai-Hanoi-Hai Phong standard gauge railway planning.  

The two countries conducted sincere and frank in-depth exchanges on issues at sea; held that satisfactorily controlling disagreements, and maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea is extremely important; and agreed to properly handle issues at sea, contributing to long-term peace and security in the region.

Vietnam and China agreed to continue to promote full and effective enforcement of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and on the basis of consultation, and consensus, soon reach a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); well control disagreements at sea, without actions that complicate the situation and expand disputes; and maintain peace, stability in the East Sea and promote cooperation at sea.

General Secretary of CPC’s Central Committee and President of China Xi Jinping holds talks with General Secretary of CPV’s Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Oct 31, 2022

Fostering economic and trade cooperation

According to statistical data, China is the largest trading partner of Vietnam among more than 200 countries and territories with which Vietnam has foreign trade relations. Vietnam-China trade ties are steadily developing and deepening. In 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, two-way trade still reached US$165.8 billion, up 24.6% over 2020 and amounted to US$147.7 billion in the first 10 months of 2022.

According to Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien, although global and regional economies have been heavily hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical upheavals in the world, Vietnam-China economic and commercial ties have kept growing to achieve remarkable outcomes, thus standing out as one of the bright spots in the bilateral relationship.

China was Vietnam's second-largest export market after the United States with a 10-months export value of US$47 billion and Vietnam's largest import market with US$100.7 billion in the period. Vietnam had a trade deficit of US$53.7 billion with China in the 10-month period, up 18.8% year on year.

With a close geographical location, strongly competitive input materials from China are positively helping Vietnam's export growth. Given complementary commodities in their import and export structures, Vietnam exports to China tropical agricultural products, aquatic products, apparel, telephones, computers, and other electronics products, while importing from China raw materials for production and temperate agricultural products.

According to the Joint Statement, the two sides agreed to apply practical measures to reduce their trade imbalance and increase exports and imports of high-quality farm produce and food products from both countries. China will actively speed up the process of market opening for Vietnam’s sweet potato, citrus fruits, swiftlet nest and some agricultural and aquatic products. Vietnam will actively speed up the process of market opening for Chinese milk.

In particular, the two countries held that e-commerce is an important field in bilateral economic and commercial cooperation, and agreed to increase policy exchange and experience sharing in developing cross-border e-commerce, promote collaboration between logistics firms, study enhancing electronic payment cooperation between banks and national payments switches, improve capacity for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises so as to expand commercial channels and new investments through e-commerce.

In order to promote merchandise import and export and increase two-way trade value, Vietnam and China agreed to push for and facilitate cooperation in aviation, land and railway transport; early hold negotiations on amending the 1992 Vietnam - China Border Railway Agreement; and support their railway companies to expand cooperation on increasing the volume of Vietnamese goods transported by railway via China. 

Promoting friendship, education and cultural exchanges

The joint statement stated that Vietnam and China agreed to increase people-to-people friendship exchange, and education on Vietnam-China friendship, thus raising mutual understanding between the two peoples, especially the young generations. The two nations also agreed to implement the Vietnam-China cultural and tourism cooperation plan, in line with the two countries’ pandemic containment policy, promote the exchange of all-level delegations on culture and tourism, boost the tourism sectors’ recovery and healthy development, and enhance cooperation in the cultural sector.

Vietnam and China agreed to effectively carry out the Vietnam-China Education Cooperation Agreement, encouraging student exchange. China announced the provision of no less than 1,000 government scholarships for Vietnam and no less than 1,000 other scholarships for Chinese language teachers in the next five years, helping Vietnam cultivate high-quality talents and Chinese language teachers.

In particular, the two sides will continue to organize friendship activities and cultural exchanges, such as Vietnam-China Youth Friendship Meeting, Vietnam-China People’s Forum and Border People’s Festival, encourage localities of the two countries, especially border provinces/regions, to boost friendship exchanges and cooperation for mutual benefit. They are willing to increase the exchange of press, media and reporters of the two countries, thus strengthening the Vietnam-China friendship, and creating a social foundation and public opinion for bilateral ties’ development.

The two sides agreed to actively seek exchanges and cooperation in such fields as green development, climate change response and digital economy, thus creating more growth pillars for Vietnam-China cooperation. Vietnam and China agreed to continue making good use of the role of the Vietnam-China Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation; actively foster scientific-technological cooperation, joint research and technological demonstration; and encourage the exchange of delegations at all levels to deepen cooperative ties in these fields.

The official visit to China by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong marked a great success that positively contributed to fostering solidarity and traditional friendship between Vietnam and China, boosting and deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations in the new era, upholding peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world. The two parties and the two peoples are very happy about these achievements.

During this visit, 13 bilateral documents were signed by central and local agencies of Vietnam and China as follows:
- Cooperation Agreement between the CPV Central Committee's Bureau for External Relations and the CPC Central Committee's International Liaison Department
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the CPV Commission for Internal Affairs and the CPC Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission
- MoU on cooperation in the 2022-2027 phase between the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries
- MoU on cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice and the Chinese Ministry of Justice
- MoU on cooperation between Hanoi and Beijing, the capital cities of Vietnam and China  
- MoU between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on strengthening cooperation to ensure Vietnamese and Chinese supply chains
- MoU between the General Department of Vietnam Customs (Ministry of Finance) and the General Administration of Customs of China on building priority areas for cooperation
- MoU on cooperation in ecology and environment between the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment
- MoU on cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the General Administration of Customs of China on food safety in Vietnamese and Chinese bilateral trade
- MoU between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the People's Government of China's Yunnan province on promoting cooperation in economics and trade
- Cooperation Plan on culture and tourism in 2023 - 2027 between the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism
- MoU on enhancing cooperation in state-owned property and state-owned enterprises between Vietnam's Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises and China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council
- Protocol on phytosanitary requirements for fresh bananas imported from Vietnam between the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the General Administration of Customs of China.

Anh Mai (Vietnam Business Forum)