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Vice President Xi Jinping Meets with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung

On December 22, local time, visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

Xi first conveyed the regards from Premier Wen Jiabao. He recalled his fruitful talks with other senior Vietnamese leaders including General Secretary of the CPV Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong, President Truong Tan Sang, Chairman of Vietnam's National Assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung, Le Hong Anh, permanent member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, and Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan since arriving on November 20. Xi said the two sides agreed 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. He urged both sides to make joint efforts to push for long-term sound and stable development of bilateral ties for the benefit of both peoples.

Xi said in recent years, bilateral economic and trade cooperation has been growing rapidly. 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. This year is the beginning year of China's 12th Five-Year Plan as well as the first year of the 10-year Social Economic Development Strategy (SEDS) of Vietnam. 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 the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation and other mechanisms so as to raise their economic and trade cooperation to higher levels, Xi said. Xi then listed three priorities at the current stage.

First, 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 cooperation 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.

Second, both sides should 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 after achieving the trade target of 25 billion dollars ahead of schedule.

Third, both sides should highlight cooperation projects, such as infrastructure construction and the construction of a cross-border economic cooperation zone, Xi said, adding both sides should also advance cooperation program of "two corridors and one ring". 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, extended warm welcome for Vice President Xi's visit on behalf of the Vietnamese government. He 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. Nguyen Tan Dung added that he fully agrees with Xi's viewpoints on the development of bilateral relations, especially on economic and trade cooperation. He said that the Vietnamese people will never forget the great support and assistance the Chinese people has offered over the years. Calling the traditional Vietnam-China friendship cultivated by the older generations of leaders of the two countries including Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong a priceless treasure shared by the two peoples, Nguyen Tan Dung said that Vietnam is willing to make concerted efforts with China to carry forward, maintain and develop the bilateral friendship. The prime minister also said that the two sides need to increase political trust through more frequent high-level contacts, and promote strategic collaboration and pragmatic cooperation in various fields in order to make further strides in developing their bilateral relationship. He also asked Xi to convey his cordial greetings and good wishes to Premier Wen Jiabao.

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