Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung attend a joint press conference after their talks in Hanoi, Vietnam, Oct. 13, 2013. Li held talks with Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi on Sunday. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
HANOI, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Tan Dung, agreed on Sunday to further deepen the partnership between their two countries simultaneously along three tracks of maritime, onshore and financial cooperation.
During their talks, the two sides committed themselves to setting up in parallel three joint work groups respectively in charge of the three areas and setting them in motion within the year so as to push forward bilateral cooperation for the benefit of both sides.
The three-track approach is an important breakthrough for the future development of bilateral ties, Li said, stressing that the establishment of a maritime cooperation work group is a positive signal of the two countries' readiness to solve their disputes through cooperation.
Expounding on China's basic considerations about the three areas of cooperation, Li said the creation of the maritime work group is aimed at advancing China-Vietnam joint development at sea.
He urged the two sides to pursue substantive progress in their joint development in waters out of the mouth of the Beibu Bay, a semi-enclosed sea whose delimitation remains under negotiation between China and Vietnam, and accumulate experience for broader maritime cooperation.
The two neighbors, the premier reiterated, should stick to the path of friendly consultation and negotiation in the process of resolving their disputes.
As regards to onshore cooperation, the two sides need to improve strategic planning with the establishment of a work group on infrastructure cooperation, Li said, while calling for concerted efforts to promote practical cooperation in such areas as inter-connectivity, trade and investment.
On the financial front, Li said, the joint work group on financial cooperation should lead the two sides to the signing of a bilateral currency swap deal and a local currency settlement agreement, so as to help safeguard the economic development and financial stability of both countries and the region at large.
Meanwhile, China is ready to work with Vietnam to consolidate the public support for bilateral relations through more people-to-people exchanges and closer cultural and educational cooperation, he added.
Calling China and Vietnam friendly neighbors, Li pointed out that a healthy steady development of bilateral ties is not only in line with the interests of both peoples but also conducive to regional peace, development and prosperity.
The two sides should steer their relations forward in the right direction and adhere to the path of win-win cooperation, he said, adding that they should also have an innovative mind in addressing their South China Sea dispute, which is now the only thorny historic leftover in bilateral relations.
For his part, Dung welcomed Li's official visit, and conveyed his country's gratitude for China's long-running, enormous and valuable support for Vietnam.
Expressing his full agreement with Li's proposals on further developing bilateral ties, the Vietnamese prime minister said his country attaches great importance to its relations with China.
Vietnam, he added, is ready to work with China to further enhance high-level contact, deepen political mutual trust and advance maritime, onshore and financial cooperation so as to achieve positive results at an early date.
Meanwhile, Vietnam will join hands with China to strengthen communication and coordination on global and regional issues, properly handle their differences, and push for closer Vietnam-China friendship and more fruitful bilateral cooperation, he said.
The prime minister also expressed Vietnam's willingness to play a positive role in promoting the relations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China.
Following their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a series of bilateral cooperation documents.
Li arrived here earlier in the day for the last leg of his first Southeast Asia tour as premier, which has taken him to Brunei and Thailand. In Brunei, he attended a series of East Asian leaders' meetings and elaborated on China's policy on promoting regional cooperation and development.