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Jun 25, 2020 / 11:07

Delay of Hanoi urban railway project affects China’s image: Amb.

The Chinese government is closely monitoring the construction progress of Cat Linh – Ha Dong project, said Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo.

The prolonged delay in the implementation of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway project, Hanoi's first metro line, not only affects the image of China Railway Sixth Group – the contractor of the project, but also that of China overall, said Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo.

 Secretary of Hanoi Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue (r) and Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo. Photo: Ngoc Thuy. 

“With the funding from China, this is not any ordinary commercial project, and the Chinese government is closely monitoring the construction progress,” Xiong Bo said in a meeting with Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue on June 25.

Xiong Bo expected the project to meet contract’s terms of safety and quality, adding Chinese contractor would hold full responsibility to ensure smooth and safe operation once the work becomes operational.

On this issue, Secretary Hue said the local authorities would continue to work with the Ministry of Transport and the Chinese contractor to reach the completion of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong project.

Hue said the priority should be given to the completion of the project this year, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam – China diplomatic relations, ideally in October when Hanoi will celebrate the city’s Liberation Day (October 10, 1954).

Xiong Bo added a prolonging of the project would no doubt affect the two sides, saying he fully agrees with Hue’s suggestion on the timeline.

 Chinese Ambassador expects Hanoi to play key role in China - ASEAN relations. Photo: Ngoc Thuy. 

Hanoi prepared to accept Chinese workers to return

The fact that both countries have successfully contained the Covid-19 pandemic has been instrumental in boosting bilateral trade and investment cooperation, Hue commented.

He added that Hanoi aims for dual targets of both containing the pandemic and speeding economic recovery.

While the city’s economy has been devastated by the pandemic, it has been on solid recovery track since late May, Hue stated.

According to Hue, the city’s GRDP growth in the first six months of 2020 is estimated at 3.4%, the lowest figure in many years, but remains positive compared to other localities in Vietnam and around the world.

Hanoi aims for an economic growth rate 1.3 times higher than the national average and fulfil the state budget revenue target set up by the National Assembly, added Hue.

Hue referred to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s instruction that Vietnam could soon reopen its borders to countries having contained the Covid-19, such as China, South Korea or Japan.

“Hanoi would create the utmost conditions for foreign experts and laborers to return to the city, including those from China,” said Hue.

The Chinese ambassador stressed while there is possibility that the world’s order may change in the post Covid-19 pandemic, the friendship and close cooperation between Vietnam and China would never change.

Xiong Bo expected Hanoi to play a leading role in building up the Vietnam-China relations.

“A strong cooperation between Vietnam and China would help maintain the stability of not only supply chains in each country, but also of the region,” he asserted.

Xiong Bo said in the first four months of 2020, ASEAN was his country’s largest trading partner, among which Vietnam made up 25.8% of ASEAN's trade turnover with China.

Xiong Bo hoped Vietnam, in the position of ASEAN chair, would continue to promote the ASEAN-China relations.