Beijing, Hanoi to strengthen cooperation
Photo shows a China-Vietnam-Laos freight train loaded with agricultural products at Nanning International Railway Port in Nanning, capital of South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, May 13, 2021. (Photo by Xinhua)

China and Vietnam pledged on Thursday to continue with joint efforts in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and improving the efficiency of border clearance to facilitate more trade and economic cooperation.

In a phone conversation, Premier Li Keqiang and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening strategic dialogue, deepening exchanges in various areas and properly managing differences to take the nations’ bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level.

Li highlighted the broad shared interests between the two sides as neighboring countries, with bilateral trade maintaining robust growth momentum last year.

China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner, with the Southeast Asian country relying on Chinese imports for materials and equipment for its labor-intensive manufacturing sector and China being the biggest market for its fruit and vegetables. Vietnam’s imports from China rose 30 percent year-on-year to $110 billion in 2021, according to Reuters.

Li pledged to provide more convenience to exports of high-quality agricultural produce from Vietnam.

He highlighted the significance of enacting the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in facilitating the free flow of economic elements, promoting the expansion and upgrading of trade and investment, and ensuring the security and stability of industry and supply chains.

China is ready to work with Vietnam and other members of the trade pact to enable the effective implementation of the agreement and work toward a higher level of regional economic integration, he said.

Chinh said China is a special partner for Vietnam, and it is the priority of its foreign policy to promote the comprehensive and in-depth growth of bilateral relations.

He reaffirmed the nation’s adherence to the one-China policy and support for China’s development so it can play a bigger role in regional and international affairs.

Vietnam supports China in hosting a successful Winter Olympics, and it is willing to continue to enhance bilateral strategic dialogue and political mutual trust with China, he said.