Xi to Viet­nam PM: Talks solve is­sues

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By HUYONGQI huyongqi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping urged Viet­nam to prop­erly man­age the South China Sea is­sue via bi­lat­eral ne­go­ti­a­tions and to pro­mote mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion to turn chal­lenges into op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Xi made the re­marks while meet­ing with vis­it­ing Viet­namese Prime Min­is­ter Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Tues­day.

Viet­nam con­tests China’s sovereignty over some is­lands in the South China Sea, and this is re­garded as an ob­sta­cle to their re­la­tions, even though Viet­nam has re­placed Malaysia as China’s largest trad­ing part­ner of the 10 mem­bers of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions.

Both coun­tries should rely on ne­go­ti­a­tions to ap­pro­pri­ately re­solve the South China Sea is­sue, Xi said. The com­mon in­ter­ests of China and Viet­nam far over­ride the dif­fer­ences, so both coun­tries should be able to ef­fec­tively man­age the dif­fer­ences and pro­mote mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion, he added.

Both sides should make good use of cur­rent mech­a­nisms for ne­go­ti­a­tions to make sub­stan­tial progress in pro­mot­ing joint de­vel­op­ment over larger parts of the South China Sea, trans­form­ing mar­itime chal­lenges into op­por­tu­ni­ties for bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion, Xi said.

In the mean­time, Xi said, Viet­nam should link its Two Cor­ri­dors and One Eco­nomic Cir­cle de­vel­op­ment with China’s Belt and Road Initiative to build a new plat­form for co­op­er­a­tion in pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity.

Phuc said Viet­nam has pri­or­i­tized bi­lat­eral ties and hopes to al­ways pro­mote po­lit­i­cal trust and prac­ti­cal co­op­er­a­tion with China. Viet­nam will prop­erly han­dle dif­fer­ences and try to achieve sta­ble and healthy de­vel­op­ment of the tra­di­tional friend­ship and com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship with China, he said.

Bei­jing is Phuc’s sec­ond stop in China. His six-day China visit is his first since be­com­ing prime min­is­ter after a lead­er­ship reshuf­fle in Viet­nam in July.

On Mon­day, when Phucmet with Premier Li Ke­qiang and other Chi­nese lead­ers, both coun­tries pledged to prop­erly man­age dif­fer­ences over the South China Sea is­sue and strengthen mar­itime co­op­er­a­tion to en­hance bi­lat­eral ties.

Wei Ling, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of Asian Stud­ies at China For­eign Af­fairs Univer­sity, said Phuc’s visit will have great sig­nif­i­cance to­ward re­solv­ing the South China Sea is­sue. If China and Viet­nam can work out co­op­er­a­tive projects over the wa­ters, it will set an ex­am­ple for China and other ASEAN coun­tries to peace­fully settle their dis­putes, she said.

Over the past 25 years, the di­a­logue be­tween China and ASEAN has showed both sides can ad­vance only when co­op­er­a­tion is based on com­mon in­ter­ests and prop­erly han­dling dif­fer­ences, Wei said. This also ap­plied to the China-Viet­nam re­la­tions, she said.

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