Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on January 13 called on China to open a border gate to receive Vietnamese exports, which has been stuck here for weeks due to Beijing’s “no COVID” policy.
Chinh made the offer during a phone call with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Vietnam’s state-controlled media reported.
According to statistics of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, as of the morning of January 7, there were still more than 3,600 container trucks carrying Vietnam’s export goods stuck at the border waiting to go to China, a decrease of 2,500 vehicles compared to the previous one. Photos and videos posted by Vietnamese people and state-controlled media in recent years show that many Vietnamese fruits have been damaged and have to be dumped or sold cheaply in the domestic market because they cannot wait for the export to China.
The state-controlled newspapers quoted PM Chinh at the phone call as saying: “The two sides need to closely coordinate and apply effective and drastic measures to continue to solve this situation, ensure trade and transport to maintain a stable supply chain and production chain between the two countries as well as in the region, especially during the Lunar New Year, so that the people and businesses of the two countries can enjoy the New Year warmly and happily.”
Chinh also promised that the Vietnamese side would drastically implement the motto “it is safe to export, export must be safe.”
Also in this phone call, the Vietnamese government leader mentioned border and territorial issues between the two countries. Chinh suggested the two sides continue to well implement the three legal documents on the Vietnam-China land border, especially arising issues, and continue to promote the negotiation mechanisms to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea (South China Sea); respecting each other’s legitimate and lawful interests in accordance with international law; properly handling maritime issues in the spirit of high-level common sense and the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea 1982; actively promote negotiations to build, soon finalize the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) substantively, effectively and in accordance with international law.
Vietnam and China have recently had small conflicts on the land border. Specifically, earlier this year, pictures and videos circulated on social media showed Chinese soldiers throwing stones to obstruct Vietnam from constructing river embankments on the border between the two countries in Mong Cai, Quang Ninh province. The Chinese side played a loudspeaker calling on Vietnam to stop construction because it thought this was a violation of the law.
Before that, in September 2021, social networks also appeared videos showing Vietnamese people uprooting fences built by China near border landmark 57 under the witness of Vietnamese border guards.