Premier Li Keqiang on July 14 called on Vietnam to value the hard-won momentum in the development of bilateral relations and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea with China.
He made the remarks while meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Mongolia, where they are to attend the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Premier Li noted that China-Vietnam relations have showed positive development momentum since last year, and preliminary results have been achieved in maritime, land and financial cooperation. China is willing to join efforts with Vietnam to accelerate the alignment of development strategies of both sides, and steadily promote production capacity cooperation, the Premier said.
He called on both sides to work together to promote the healthy, stable development of comprehensive strategic cooperation between the two countries.
Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that China and Vietnam are comrades and brothers, and their common interests outweigh their differences. Vietnam places its relations with China as the top priority of its external relations, and is willing to facilitate the bilateral negotiation mechanism on maritime issues.
Talking about the South China Sea issue, Premier Li said that the Chinese government neither accepts nor recognizes the award of an arbitral tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration established at the request of the Philippines. China is willing to settle disputes through negotiations and in accordance with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and international laws.
Nguyen Xuan Phuc, for his part, said Vietnam respects China’s stance and maintains that the disputes should be solved peacefully through dialogues.