Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Manila, the Philippines, Nov 13, 2017.[Photo/Xinhua]
MANILA — Visiting Premier Li Keqiang on Nov 13 called on China and Vietnam to speed up the alignment of their development strategies during a meeting in Manila with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Premier Li said the two countries should align their development strategies, referring to China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Vietnam’s “Two Corridors and One Economic Circle” plan, so as to achieve a balanced trade between the increase of bilateral trade volume and the inclusive as well as diversified development.
Hailing China and Vietnam as friendly neighbors and important partners, Premier Li said President Xi Jinping’s successful visit to Vietnam indicates bilateral relations have stepped into a new phase featuring sustainable and healthy development.
On relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Premier Li said developing relations with ASEAN has always been a priority of China’s neighborhood diplomacy, adding that China stands ready to enhance the relationship with ASEAN countries and elevate the China-ASEAN strategic partnership to a higher level.
He also expressed the hope that the related parties can jointly send positive signals of focusing on regional cooperation and safeguarding regional stability at a series of leaders’ meetings on East Asian cooperation.
On the South China Sea, Premier Li said China is willing to advance the consultations on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea with ASEAN countries in order to make it a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.
For his part, Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam and China have made joint efforts to achieve positive progress in the development of friendly bilateral ties.
He said Vietnam stands ready to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries, promote the integration of the bilateral development strategies, and strengthen cooperation on capacity, transport facilities, cross-border economic cooperation zones, agriculture, finance, and environmental protection so as to lift bilateral trade relations to a new level.
Lauding the agreement reached by China and ASEAN countries on the COC framework, he said that Vietnam is willing to promote maritime cooperation with China and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.
The Premier arrived in the Philippines on Nov 12 for an official visit to the country and a series of leaders’ meetings on East Asian cooperation.
He attended the 20th China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders’ meeting held in the Philippine capital of Manila on Nov 13, and will also attend the 20th ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) leaders’ meeting, as well as the 12th East Asia Summit here.