Ambassador Pham Sao Mai: Viet Nam, China sustain development trend in bilateral ties despite COVID-19 pandemic

Update: 10:04 | 02/07/2021
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the development trend in Viet Nam-China relations has still been sustained, according to the Vietnamese Ambassador to China Pham Sao Mai.
Viet Nam, China sustain development trend in bilateral ties despite pandemic
Vietnamese Ambassador to China Pham Sao Mai. (Photo: VNA)

The diplomat made the remark during an interview on the occasion of the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China (July 1).

He said the COVID-19 pandemic has strongly affected cooperation among all countries around the world, and Viet Nam and China are no exception.

Prior to the outbreak, Party and State leaders of the two countries frequently paid mutual visits while direct exchanges between the Parties, governments, parliaments, the Viet Nam Fatherland Front and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, ministries, sectors, localities, and socio-political organisations took place constantly.

The coronavirus pandemic has interrupted direct meetings and activities, tourism, aviation, and people-to-people exchange. However, those difficulties are just temporary, and the potential and demand for bilateral cooperation remain huge, Mai noted.

Braving the pandemic-caused difficulties, with both sides’ resolve, goodwill, and common efforts, the Vietnamese and Chinese Parties, countries, and peoples have taken proactive and creative actions to minimise the epidemic’s negative impacts. As a result, the development trend in political relations has been maintained, economic and trade ties have enjoyed impressive growth, and cooperation in the COVID-19 fight has been carried out effectively.

The ambassador elaborated that high-level meetings have been organised in a flexible manner and political trust enhanced. For the first time since the normalisation of their ties in 1991, within less than half a year after a National Congress of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, the top Party, State, Government, and parliamentary leaders of the countries have conducted many phone talks, reaching many important common perceptions about the intensification of the Viet Nam - China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new context.

Economic and trade links remain a bright spot, he said, citing data as showing that in 2020, China continued to be the largest trading partner of Viet Nam, which in turn ranked first in ASEAN and fourth in the world among trading partners of China.

Viet Nam’s statistics show that bilateral trade topped 133.09 billion USD in 2020 and hit 64.04 billion USD in the first five months of 2021, respectively rising 13.8 percent and 44.3 percent year on year.

China registered 1.08 billion USD for 61 new investment projects in Viet Nam between January and April this year, standing forth among 67 countries and territories investing in the latter during the period. With 3,192 valid projects worth 19.63 billion USD in total, it currently ranks seventh among 140 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam.

Meanwhile, Mai added, cooperation in the COVID-19 combat has obtained substantive results. The two sides have been assisted each other with medical supplies at all the State, locality, and enterprise levels.

China also recently provided Viet Nam with 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine and pledged to continue the vaccine provision via flexible forms so as to help the latter bring the pandemic under control soon, he said.

Besides, bilateral coordination at multilateral forums has been strengthened, and China has promised further support for Viet Nam to fulfill the role of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020 - 2021.

The two countries agreed to join efforts to satisfactorily settle the outstanding problems in their relations, the diplomat remarked, noting that Chinese leaders affirmed the importance they attach to trade and investment ties with Viet Nam and also expressed their wish to develop the neighbourliness and friendship in a substantive and effective manner to generate practical benefits for both peoples.

Regarding sea-related issues, the two sides agreed on the need to have good control of disagreements, satisfactorily deal with issues in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), so as to contribute to regional peace and stability, and promote the building of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea, Mai said.

He held that in the time ahead, the countries’ relevant agencies should push ahead with effectively implementing the important common perceptions reached by their senior leaders, increase high-level meetings, gradually resume aviation, tourism, and people-to-people exchange on the basis of anti-pandemic requirements, and foster economic, trade, and investment ties in a more balanced, stable, and sustainable manner.

The ambassador voiced his belief that thanks to the existing cooperation foundation and joint efforts by both sides, the Viet Nam - China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership will make greater strides in the time to come.

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(Source: VNA)