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China-Vietnam Cooperation Poised to Speed Up
Brief:The China-Vietnam border will possibly develop into "a golden corridor" for capital flows, technology and industries.
In the border city of Pingxiang, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, workers are busy digging a 627-meter mountain tunnel to neighboring Vietnam.
The tunnel is set to be part of a special 1.5-km passage for cross-border cargo freight, which is expected to alleviate traffic jams and cut stays at the port of entry from hours to just minutes.
In the border city of Dongxing, also in Guangxi, China and Vietnam are building a bridge over the Beilun River which serves as a boundary.
"The bridge will be open to traffic by the end of 2016. It will improve transport conditions, boost tourism and facilitate trade," said Liu Baoquan, a deputy manager of the project.
"The construction of cross-border expressways, railways, bridges and tunnels is on the fast track," said Peng Zhiwei, an official for project construction at the Dongxing-Moncay cooperation zone.
The China-Vietnam border will possibly develop into "a golden corridor" for capital flows, technology and industries, said Pan Jin'e, a Vietnam expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
At the ongoing 13th China-ASEAN Expo in Guangxi, Vietnamese Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia said inter-connectivity between the two countries will significantly improve in the remaining months of 2016 and particularly in 2017.
According to him, Vietnamese regions neighboring China are now soliciting investment in expressways and also expect Chinese loans.
Nghia made the remarks at a meeting on the sidelines of the expo, where Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc led a large ministerial delegation and attempted to persuade Chinese tycoons to invest in his country.
On his first visit to China since he took office in July, Phuc called more than 200 Chinese business people "comrades," saying that the Vietnamese government and the people were very glad to receive Chinese investment.
Phuc received not only warm applause but also deals worth a total of 3 billion U.S. dollars at the expo.
China is Vietnam's largest trading partner. In 2015, bilateral trade grew 14.6 percent to 95.8 billion U.S. dollars. This year, Vietnam overtook Malaysia to become China's largest trading partner within ASEAN.
Premier Li Keqiang met with Phuc in Beijing on Monday, saying the two countries needed to continue maritime, land and financial cooperation.
China and Vietnam should also work on bilateral and sub-regional development strategies and strengthen cooperation on infrastructure construction, production capacity, trade and investment, said Li.
Phuc said Vietnam is willing to enhance cooperation with China on political, economic and cultural matters and further coordination in international affairs.
After the talks, Li and Phuc witnessed the signing of documents on several areas, including the economy and trade, production capacity, infrastructure and education.
Cooperation will allow Vietnam to use China's funds, technology and experience to rapidly improve its transport facilities, said Huang Dongri, a researcher with the China Foundation for International Studies.
According to Pan, the incumbent Vietnamese government attaches greater significance to economic development and people's lives. Therefore, it needs pragmatic cooperation with China.
"China is seeking to expand cooperation with ASEAN, and Vietnam can be an important window," said Hou Yongzhi, an expert with the Development Research Center of the State Council.


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