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Việt Nam, China discuss ties, border gate congestion



Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính discusses measures to handle border gate congestion with his Chinese counterpart on Thursday. — VNA/ Photo 

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính had a phone call with the premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang on Thursday to discuss measures to boost relations and handle products stranded at border gates.

The talk was held for the 72th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Việt Nam and China (January 18).

The two sides reviewed achievements of Việt Nam-China relations over the past year and discussed measures to strengthen friendship and enhance political trust as well as expand cooperation between the two countries.

PM Chính congratulated the Party, State and people of China for its achievements in pandemic prevention and control and socio-economic development.

He stressed that the development of the Việt Nam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership was always the top priority in the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation and diversification of Việt Nam; and the effective and sound development of bilateral relations had an important meaning in the stability and development of each country.

After 35 years of Đổi mới (Renewal), under the leadership of different generations of leaders of Việt Nam and under the current direction of Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Việt Nam continues to build, supplement and complete theories about socialism and the path to socialism, PM Chính said.

Chinese Premier Li agreed the Vietnamese PM and congratulated him on achievements that the Party, State and people of Việt Nam gained in COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control and socio-economic recovery and development.

He noted that the Party, State and people of China attached great importance to the relations with Việt Nam and wished to strengthen the traditional friendship and continuously develop the China-Việt Nam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

The two leaders agreed that the Việt Nam-China relations continued to develop and gained positive results in 2021. Exchanges of high-ranking delegations were maintained, including two phone calls between the two Party leaders. Two-way trade turnover is estimated to reach a record high of over US$160 billion in 2021, despite COVID-19.

Cooperation in pandemic prevention and control was a spotlight in relations between the two countries, particularly cooperation on vaccines. ASEAN-China cooperation also posted positive results.

The two sides have worked to deal with agricultural products being stranded at border gates. PM Chính said the two sides needed to coordinate closely and apply effective and drastic measures to continue handling the issue to ensure smooth trading activities to help maintain supply and production chains between the two countries and the region.

Chính proposed China continues expanding the import of goods and speed up opening of the market agricultural produce from Việt Nam.

Việt Nam implementing the motto “safety for exports and exports must ensure safety,” the Government leader said.

Chinese Premier Li said he attached importance to the proposals of Việt Nam about cooperation in economy, trade and investment, considering this an important field of cooperation.

Li directed ministries and localities of China to coordinate to deal with the congestion immediately after PM Chính sent a letter to him and met the Chinese Ambassador to Việt Nam.

The situation at the border gates has been handled and trading activities via border gates have been improved, he said.

He proposed the two sides to set up a joint task force to continue dealing with this issue, creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural produce to enter China and to help maintain smooth trading between both sides.

Chính suggested the two sides continue implementing three legal documents about the land border between Việt Nam and China; uphold negotiation mechanisms to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea); respect legitimate and legal interests of each other in line with international laws and properly handle sea-related issues in line with the leaders of the two countries and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; and promote negotiations to build and complete the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

The two leaders agreed to continue to maintain channels of exchanges about land border and sea-related issues. —



Việt Nam, Hungary foster parliamentary cooperation




Standing Vice Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Trần Thanh Mẫn holds talks with First Officer of the Hungarian NA Márta Mátrai in Hà Nội on Thursday. VNA/ Photo 

HÀ NỘI — Standing Vice-chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Trần Thanh Mẫn and First Officer of the Hungarian NA Márta Mátrai discussed measures to develop the cooperation between the two legislative bodies more practically and effectively during their talks held in Hà Nội on Thursday.

First Officer Márta is leading a high-ranking delegation from the Hungarian NA on a working visit to Việt Nam from January 18-22.

They appreciated that in spite of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral parliamentary cooperation between the two countries was ensured.

Last July, NA Chairman Vương Đình Huệ held a phone talk with his Hungarian counterpart László Kövér to discuss ways to promote the relations between the two countries and two NAs in the future.

The two NAs established a bilateral friendship group of parliamentarians while parliamentarians of the two countries kept meeting, coordinating and supporting each other at multilateral parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP).

They said the two NAs should continue organising such activities as well as exchanges and dialogues to share law building experience.

At the talks, Vice Chairman Mẫn spoke highly of the Hungarian delegation’s visit, saying that this was the first international delegation visiting and working with the NA of Việt Nam on the occasion of the new year.  

Mẫn said he believed that it would be a good start in the parliamentary relations between Việt Nam and Hungary as well as between Việt Nam and parliaments of other EU member countries.

The Vietnamese NA appreciated the progress in the relations between the two countries over the past years, particularly the development of the bilateral relations to the comprehensive partnership during the visit to Hungary by Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng in 2018, which demonstrated the determination of leaders of the two countries in promoting the bilateral relations.

Vice-Chairman Mẫn stressed that with a traditional friendship of over 70 years, Việt Nam always attached importance to enhancing the multi-faceted cooperation with Hungary – the first comprehensive partner of Việt Nam at Central and Eastern Europe.

Appreciating the effective cooperation between the two countries at multilateral platforms, Mẫn thanked the Hungarian Parliament for supporting the signing and approval of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). The EVFTA, which took effect from August 2020, has created a strong motivation to promote trade exchanges and investment cooperation between Việt Nam and Hungary and other EU member countries.

Hungary was also the first member country of the EU to approve the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (IVIPA), he said.

He also expressed delights at the development of the economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries. Two-way trade turnover reached a record of US$1.3 billion in 2020, despite the pandemic’s impacts.

He said he appreciated that Hungary has considered Việt Nam as a priority partner in its ODA policy with a commitment of Euro 440 million of preferential loans to help implement projects in the fields of priority cooperation between the two countries.

First Officer Márta affirmed that Việt Nam was the most important foreign trade partner of Hungary in Southeast Asia.

She thanked Việt Nam for sending face masks and medical equipment for Hungary to support its COVID-19 prevention and control.

She wished that the Vietnamese NA would have supports to help realise cooperation agreements between the Governments, ministries, and sectors of the two countries. —








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Man in Phú Yên Province imprisoned for anti-State propaganda, storing explosives



Nguyễn Bảo Tiến in protective suit at the trial on Friday. — VNA/ Photo Xuân Triệu

PHÚ YÊN — The People’s Court of the central province of Phú Yên on Friday sentenced a man to six and a half years in prison for distributing anti-State materials and illegally storing explosives.

According to the indictment issued by the provincial People’s Procuracy, Nguyễn Bảo Tiến, born in 1986 and living in Ward 4 of Tuy Hòa City, followed foreign newspapers and often shared and posted articles with distortions and anti-State content.

From August to October 2019, he received six parcels that contained several books spreading subversive information.

He also sent 46 parcels to other people, and was arrested while handling procedures for sending the 21 others.

An additional 22 parcels with 38 books were also found at his home.

On April 20, 2021, the police discovered a hand grenade hidden by the man.

Tiến said he had secretly brought home the explosive with the detonator attached while participating in a military drill in April 2008.

At the trial, Tiến made pleaded guilty.

The jury sentenced him to six years and six months, including five years and six months for “storing, distributing, and disseminating materials against the State of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam” and one year for “appropriating and illegally storing explosives” under Article 305 of the amended Penal Code. —


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Việt Á imported 3 million COVID quick test kits from China at less than US$1 apiece: VN customs



Phan Quốc Việt, former Việt Á CEO is being prosecuted for overcharging for COVID-19 quick test kits. — Photo courtesy of Việt Á

HÀ NỘI — Việt Á Technologies JSC, the company which has been prosecuted for overcharging RT-PCR COVID-19 tests, had imported three million quick test kits from China at less than US$1 per kit, said the General Department of Việt Nam Customs (GDVC).

The deal from China was worth VNĐ64.7 billion (US$2.8 million) in total.

Last month, the police arrested and initiated legal proceedings against Phan Quốc Việt, general director of Việt Á Technologies, for raising the price of RT-PCR COVID-19 test kits and bribery of health officials to facilitate purchases of their test kits.

According to the GDVC, Phan Quốc Việt was also named the director of 11 other companies, but only Việt Á was trading medical equipment and materials.

From 2017 to 2021, the company imported chemical materials, reagents, lab equipment, and other substances for testing with a total trade turnover of VNĐ286 billion ($12.6 million).

This includes VNĐ162 billion ($7.2 million) for quick tests and reagents, and VNĐ123 billion ($5.4 million) for equipment for laboratory use.

The GDVC is also investigating seven other companies related to Việt Á Technologies JSC: Technique Import and Export JSC (Technimex); Biomedic Science Material JSC; Việt Nam Applied Biology and Technical JSC; Lan Oanh Science Equipment Co Ltd; Việt Hoàng Long Trading Co Ltd; Vina Chemistry Biology Science Equipment Co Ltd; and TBR Technology Corporation. —


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