Vietnam Appreciates Proposal to Upgrade ASEAN-China Relations

At the meeting, ASEAN and China agreed to continue to give priority to coordination in effectively controlling Covid-19 and mutual support in a sustainable recovery.
August 04, 2021 | 08:41
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Vietnam Appreciates Proposal to Upgrade ASEAN-China Relations
At the meeting. (Photo: VOV World)

Vietnam welcomes a proposal to upgrade the ASEAN-China relationship, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said at the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held via videoconference on August 3 as part of the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-54) and Related Meetings, according to VNA.

In his remarks at the event, Minister Son suggested that the two sides work to fully tap the great potential of bilateral cooperation, promote economic collaboration, facilitate trade and investment, and bolster investment in infrastructure development in the region and within sub-regional cooperation frameworks, including the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation.

He expressed hope that China will continue to provide Covid-19 vaccines to ASEAN countries and help them improve medical response capacity.

The Vietnamese minister underlined the need for all parties to show goodwill in cooperation, take responsible actions, and work together for a South China Sea (locally called Bien Dong Sea) of peace, stability, security, safety, and environmental protection. All parties should uphold the rule of law and settle disputes and differences through peaceful measures, he stressed, affirming that Vietnam is committed to working with other ASEAN countries and China to continue to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and welcomes the resumption of negotiations on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).

Vietnam Appreciates Proposal to Upgrade ASEAN-China Relations
Vietnam Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son. (Photo: VOV)

Vietnam will do its best to push forward the negotiation process for the finalization of a practical, effective COC that is in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which is supported by the international community, he said.

At the meeting, ASEAN and China agreed to continue to give priority to coordination in effectively controlling Covid-19 and mutual support in a sustainable recovery.

As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue relations between China and ASEAN, the two sides should join hands to open up a new era of cooperation, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during the videoconference.

ASEAN enjoys a priority position within China's neighborhood diplomacy, said Wang, adding that new and important progress has been made in the friendly cooperation between the two sides. Noting that China regards ASEAN as its primary partner in the fight against Covid-19, Wang said China has provided more than 190 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to the 10 ASEAN countries so far, along with other anti-Covid-19 supplies, Xinhua cited.

Vietnam Appreciates Proposal to Upgrade ASEAN-China Relations
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. (Photo: SCMP)

Wang stressed consolidating the existing regional cooperation framework. China firmly supports ASEAN centrality in regional cooperation and ASEAN's greater role in international and regional issues, said Wang.

ASEAN foreign ministers suggested stronger cooperation in facilitating bilateral trade and investment exchange, making full use of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), and hastening the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP in order to create a new driving force for growth.

Chinese minister stressed that in the first half of this year, the bilateral trade exceeded 410 billion U.S. dollars, up 38.2 percent year on year. ASEAN remains China's largest trading partner, and its cumulative investment exceeding 310 billion U.S. dollars.

China called for maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, saying it will continue to honor its commitments regarding the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

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