Vietnam National Assembly chairman meets China's President Xi in Beijing; more cooperation proposed between two countries


HANOI (Reuters): Vietnam National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday and proposed more cooperation between the South China Sea rivals on trade and development projects, the Vietnamese government and state media said.

Hue, who arrived in China on Sunday for a week-long visit, said at the meeting he hopes "China will have an important contribution to global peace, cooperation and development," Vietnam's state broadcaster VTV reported.

The head of the assembly is officially among the four "pillars" of the leadership in Vietnam, which has no paramount ruler. The pillars also include the party chief, the president, the prime minister.

China is Vietnam's largest trading partner and a vital source of imports for its manufacturing sector. The two Communist-ruled neighbours are embroiled in a years-long maritime dispute in the South China Sea.

Xi visited Vietnam in December when the two countries signed dozens of cooperation agreements, and sealed an agreement to move towards the building of a community with a "shared future".

Hue on Monday proposed the two countries should create new momentum for the development of trade and "connect Vietnam to China's large development strategies", VTV said.

(Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and John Mair)

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