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Ties with Hanoi are improving

Updated: Oct 17,2014 6:45 AM     China Daily

Premier Li Keqiang said on Oct 16 that China and Vietnam “have overcome their difficulties through joint efforts” after maritime problems and a standoff flared in May.

Beijing called upon Hanoi to meet it halfway to make sure the bilateral and cooperative agendas are in good shape, Li said when meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Europe Meeting, in Milan, Italy.

A nationwide protest against China erupted in Vietnam after a Chinese company began a legal oil drilling operation in the waters close to China’s Zhongjian Island in the South China Sea in May.

Senior officials from both countries have continued liaison efforts in the past few months, and Vietnam dispatched a special envoy to China in late August to show its willingness to repair the relationship.

The bilateral relationship was gradually restored, Li said.

China hopes to press ahead with the “healthy and stable development of the bilateral relationship”, Li said.

Dung said Vietnam is willing to “properly control, manage and handle maritime disputes”.

The Premier underscored the importance of the two countries making good progress in developing relationship and “creating a necessary and favorable circumstance for bilateral cooperation”.

Pan Jin’e, a Vietnam studies expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Hanoi has taken notice of Beijing’s strong will in safeguarding legal interests and shaping a good relationship with Vietnam.

Vietnam has tweaked its policies regarding China to maximize its national interests, and the future of the relationship is heading toward improvement, Pan said.

The protests in Vietnam dealt a substantial blow to the Vietnamese economy after operations were disrupted at more than 1,000 factories.

In late August, President Xi Jinping and a number of senior officials met in Beijing with Le Hong Anh, a senior member of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam.

Anh came as an envoy delivering messages from the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang.