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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   16 October 2013  

China, Vietnam agree to take strategic partnership to next level

The Prime Ministers of Vietnam and China have reached consensus on the measures required to deepen the two countries' strategic cooperative partnership.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks in Ha Noi on Sunday, following a welcome ceremony for Li, who is making an official visit to the country until Tuesday.

Dung said the visit of his Chinese counterpart would contribute to furthering the friendly ties between the two Parties, countries and people.

Li said his visit demonstrated the Chinese government's resolve to deepen the traditional friendship and expand mutually-beneficial ties with Vietnam .

He extended condolences from the Chinese Party, State and people to Vietnam over the death of General Vo Nguyen Giap, an outstanding military leader and a close friend of the Chinese people.

The two sides held in-depth discussions on their recent relations. They agreed on five measures to enhance their strategic cooperative partnership and political trust between the two nations while maintaining regular contact between leaders, ministries, departments and localities.

It was agreed that the two neighbours would promote cooperation in economics and trade, with a target lifting two-way trade to US$60 billion by 2015.

Measures will be taken to sustain the trade balance, expand financial and monetary links and foster resilience to financial risks.

Working groups will be set up to promote infrastructure and monetary cooperation.

The two countries will deploy key transport connectivity projects, including the construction of highways linking northern border Lang Son Province and Ha Noi and Mong Cai and Ha Long City, in addition to a potential Lao Cai Hai Phong high-speed railway.

The two leaders pledged to work together to build a shared borderline of peace and prosperity and to work together at regional and global forums to achieve international stability.

On maritime issues, both host and guest agreed to implement an agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related disputes.

The two sides will make full use of the government-level negotiation mechanism on territorial borders as well as consultations and friendly negotiations to seek essential and long-term solutions acceptable to both sides.

They will actively consider transitional solutions that have no impact on each side's stance, including researching and discussing development cooperation.

In such a spirit, the two sides agreed on the establishment of a working group on maritime co-operation in the framework of the governmental negotiation delegations on

Vietnam-China border.

The two government leaders agreed to accelerate the working pace of joint groups on waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf and on cooperation in less sensitive issues at sea.

Cooperation on maritime environment protection, marine scientific research, search and rescue at sea, disaster prevention and maritime transport connectivity will be accelerated.

The two sides agreed to exercise tight control over maritime disputes and not to make any move that can further complicate or extend tensions, instead pledging to make proper use of the hotlines between the two foreign ministries and the two agriculture ministries to promptly and suitably deal with arising problems.

At the same time, the two sides will continue to seek effective measures to control disputes and maintain the overall good relations between Vietnam and China and peace and stability in the East Sea.

The two sides agreed to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Sea and strive for an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea on the basis of consensus.

Premier Li invited Dung to visit China. The government leader accepted the invitation with pleasure.

Following their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a series of bilateral co-operation documents, including an agreement on the opening of trade promotion agencies in each other's market and a joint project on researching sea and island environmental management in the Tonkin Gulf.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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