China and Vietnam reached a series of consensuses on strengthening cooperation on trade and maritime issues, according to a joint statement issued in Hanoi on Monday. [Special coverage]
The two sides agreed to jointly implement the five-year plan of China-Vietnam economic and trade cooperation starting from 2017, sign and carry out a list of key cooperation projects, the statement said.
Hanoi and Beijing decided to push for the early completion of the Hanoi light rail (Cat Linh - Ha Dong) project and instruct companies of both sides to solve problems and obstacles as soon as possible.
The two countries will complete the design of a standard-gauge railway linking Hai Phong, Hanoi, and Lao Cai, part of a cross-border railway network that connects China with Vietnam's eastern coast as scheduled, said the statement.
China and Vietnam are committed to promoting a sustained, stable and balanced development of bilateral trade, it said.
According to the statement, China is willing to expand its imports from Vietnam and prioritize the assessment of the import of Vietnamese dairy products to China.
China will also open up markets for certain kinds of Vietnamese fruits and cooperate with Vietnam in such fields as agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Vietnam, the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on accelerating the negotiation process of the framework agreement for the construction of China-Vietnam cross-border economic cooperation zone.
The MOU aims to drive the development of border areas and enhance the level of interconnection between the two sides, said the statement.
On maritime cooperation, China and Vietnam agreed to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and strive for the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct (COC) on the basis of consensus made through consultations.
The two sides agreed to manage and control the differences concerning maritime issues and refrain from taking actions that will make the situation complicated and the disputes enlarged, so as to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
The two sides agreed to abide by the important consensus reached by top leaders of the two parties and two countries on maritime issues as well as a pact on the basic principles concerning guidance for solving maritime disputes between China and Vietnam, make good use of the border negotiation mechanism between the two governments and seek a fundamental and long-term solution accepted by the two nations.
China and Vietnam agreed to conduct follow-up works of the joint inspection in waters outside the Beibu Gulf, an area potentially rich in resources.
The two sides also decided to advance the negotiation on demarcating the waters outside the mouth of the Beibu Gulf and actively push forward joint development of the area.
The Gulf is a half-closed bay surrounded by Chinese and Vietnamese territory and a traditional fishing area for the two countries.
The two countries also pledged to push forward the work of the working group for consultation on maritime joint development and effectively implement agreed cooperative projects in less sensitive areas, according to the statement.