Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visited China(25-28), which was his first visit to the country after he assumed charge as the Prime Minister of Vietnam. Prime Minister Chinh has been making new efforts for the resurgence of Vietnamese economy given the fact that China is one of the topmost trade partners of Vietnam ,and Vietnam is looking for investment in developing its digital economy. His visit follows the earlier visit by Vietnamese communist leader and party general secretary Nguyen Phu Truong Who visited China in October last year, immediately after the Chinese president Xi Jinping received his 3rd term. During the visit of the party general secretary the stress was on maintaining close communication and maintaining the party ties between the two communist parties. Vietnam’s party general secretary has been buttressing zero tolerance towards corruption, and has been forcefully asking for economic reforms which has led to Vietnam emerging as the fastest growing economy in the region.
China also accords important status to Vietnam given the fact that it has become a middle power and has been managing its relationship with all the major powers in a very balanced way. The visit of Vietnamese Prime Minister over the last 2 years to different regions of the world and also forging of better economic ties signifies the role that Vietnam’s economy is going to play in the upliftment of the citizens and explore better avenues for growth. Interestingly, Vietnamese PM visited China when US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan docked at the Danang on June 25th. Around the same time, Philippine foreign minister also visited India to discuss issues related to bilateral cooperation. These events might be just a coincidence but it clearly signifies the role that major powers are going to play in the larger South East Asia.
During the visit important issues were discussed between the two sides and it was acknowledged that the two leaders namely Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Chinh should visit each other like relatives and the two countries should work together for more stable region and look for better development avenues. On June 27th the meeting of President Xi and Prime Minister Chinh was held which discussed issues related to trade, increased investment in select sectors, and highlighting the mutual historical ties between the two parties. During the meeting there has been equal stress on expanding trade and also new projects under Belt And Road Initiative infrastructure projects. During the meeting between Chinese premier Li and Prime Minister Chinh it was acknowledged that the differences in South China Sea should be managed and the two sides should strengthen high level cooperation and communication between the militaries as well. Vietnam has been managing its relationship with major powers in a very flexible and diversified way so that it should not be seen as tilting towards one power.
China visit by PM Chinh is buttress increased border trade, interaction between communities, and accelerating the infrastructure projects undertaken by the two sides. In terms of economic ties, Vietnam is a major trading partner of China in the region and the two way trade in 2022 was more than us $175.6 billion. In terms of foreign direct investment China has invested more than U.S. dollar 23.85 billion spanning across 3651 projects in Vietnam. This trip has helped in deepening the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership signed between the two countries. A number of meetings that Vietnamese Prime Minister had with Chinese premier, Chinese president and party general secretary, Chairman of Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and many others, one primary underlining theme was that Vietnam is committed to independent foreign policy, self reliance, and undertaking diversified relationship so that Vietnam can progress much faster towards industrialisation, modernisation, and becoming one of the priority countries for foreign direct investment from across the world. During the meetings it was also expressed that maintaining peace and tranquility in the East Sea/ South China Sea should be a priority and Vietnamese PM buttress the fact that settlement of dispute should be done through peaceful measures in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the law of the Seas(UNCLOS).
Prime Minister Chinh also attended the 14th World Economic Forum in the Chinese city of Tianjin in which areas of mutual interest and promoting economic linkages between the member countries was discussed. During the meeting , Vietnamese Prime Minister while speaking to the other leaders stated that Vietnam has adapted to new technologies, advanced manufacturing processes and has an advantage in terms of high quality human resources, new finance architecture, and has been shifting towards modern governance structures which will help Vietnam in sustainable development. He highlighted the fact that Vietnam has been striving for green transformation, digital economy, reduction in use of fossil fuels, synergising its efforts with other like minded countries in science and technology development, and also creating a circular economy. Vietnam PM attended the meeting along with leaders from China, New Zealand, Mongolia, and Barbados. He also stressed on promoting multilateralism, building international solidarity and connecting communities for development. One of his focus areas during his speech was reducing inflationary trends in energy and food prices, reducing tensions at global level, and building conducing environment for development of small and medium enterprises which have been providing employment across the developing world.
During this visit few important achievements have been highlighted which included China’s willingness to open the country’s market for Vietnamese goods with particular focus on agricultural and marine products as well as fruits. improved connectivity and infrastructure projects, assistance in manufacturing and automation within Vietnamese industrial hubs, and encouraging Chinese investment in large and high tech firms. The discussion also talked about issues related to climate change efforts, macroeconomic management, better crop yield, enhancing breeding of fishery resources, sharing of best practices in financial and monetary policies, and promoting people to people contacts.