Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met Thursday with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and laid out three priorities in their countries' bilateral cooperation.
Recalling talks with other senior Vietnamese leaders since arriving on Tuesday, Xi said the two sides agree that the China-Vietnam friendship is a great treasure cherished by their parties, nations and peoples.
The healthy, steady development of the bilateral relationship brings important benefits to the two peoples, and thus the two sides should spare no pains in maintaining it, said Xi, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
Bilateral trade between the two Asian neighbors surpassed 30 billion U.S. dollars last year, marking a nearly 1,000-fold increase from two decades ago, Xi said, adding that both countries have just embarked upon a new phase of socioeconomic development.
Against this backdrop, Xi said, it is of great significance to the modernization of both countries that they further promote economic and trade cooperation and maintain the steady growth of bilateral trade.
The two nations need to stick firmly to the principle of equality, mutual benefit, cooperation and win-win progress and make good use of bilateral mechanisms so as to raise their economic and trade cooperation to higher levels, Xi said.
Xi then listed three priorities at the current stage, with the first being that the two sides need to boost policy planning.
Beijing and Hanoi, he said, should better coordinate their economic development strategies, take utmost advantage of the China-Vietnam Economic and Trade Committee, fully carry out their five-year plan for bilateral economic and trade cooperation and push forward joint programs in such key areas as agriculture, fishery, transportation and energy.
The second priority is to further expand bilateral trade, said Xi, adding that the two sides need to make full use of the preferential terms in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and actively cultivate more points of trade growth.
Xi also proposed that the two sides set a target of bringing their annual bilateral trade to 60 billion dollars by 2015.
The third priority is to highlight key cooperation projects, such as infrastructure construction and the construction of a cross-border economic cooperation zone, Xi said.
He said that Beijing encourages capable Chinese firms to invest in the economic and trade cooperation zone construction in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese prime minister, for his part, said that Xi's visit is a remarkable success of great importance to the consolidation and development of the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
Dung added that he fully agrees with Xi's viewpoints on the development of bilateral relations. He said that the Vietnamese people will never forget the enormous support and assistance the Chinese people has offered during the long past.
Calling the traditional Vietnam-China friendship a priceless treasure shared by the two peoples, Dung said that Hanoi is willing to make concerted efforts with China to better protect and develop the bilateral friendship.
The prime minister also said that the two sides need to increase high-level contacts, enhance political mutual trust and promote strategic collaboration and pragmatic cooperation in various fields in order to make further strides in developing their bilateral relationship.
Vietnam is the first leg of Xi's two-nation Southeast Asian tour. The second stop is Thailand.