BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The 12th Meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation was held via video link Tuesday.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi co-chaired the meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
Wang said since the COVID-19 outbreak, China and Vietnam have given full play to their respective institutional advantages, and effectively controlled the epidemic successively.
Trade between the two countries increased by more than 18 percent against the trend in the first half of this year, showing huge space and complementary advantages for bilateral cooperation, he said.
For his part, Pham spoke positively of the developments of cooperation between the two countries in recent years and expressed confidence in the development prospects of Vietnam-China relations.
The two sides both agreed to take the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to continue to strengthen strategic communication and promote cooperation in various fields, such as anti-epidemic measures.
Talking about the South China Sea issue, Wang Yi said that China's policy has not changed. Due to geostrategic needs, however, the United States fanned the flames everywhere to stir up tension and turmoil in the region.
"China and Vietnam should control their differences through bilateral dialogue and consultation in accordance with the consensus reached by the top leaders of the two parties and countries," Wang stressed.
He also called on the two sides, together with other ASEAN countries, to abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), push forward the consultation on the Code of Conduct (COC), and not to give any opportunity for interference and destruction by external forces.
Pham expressed Vietnam's willingness to work with China to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, and promote maritime cooperation and common development.