BEIJING - Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao pledged to deepen bilateral trade ties with Vietnam during a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday, China's commerce ministry said.
Wang said China-Vietnam trade cooperation had already achieved "fruitful results" and would include strategic areas such as the digital economy, green development and cross-border e-commerce, according to a readout published late Saturday by the Chinese ministry.
China and the United States have been jostling for influence among Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam, which in September elevated its ties with Washington to a comprehensive strategic partnership, putting its one-time enemy on par with Beijing and Moscow.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong held "frank and friendly talks" on bilateral ties, land borders and maritime issues with Vietnam's Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Minh Vu in Hanoi earlier this month.
Sources familiar with the situation told Reuters last month that Vietnamese and Chinese officials were preparing for a possible trip by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Hanoi in late October or early November, although three Hanoi-based diplomats later said the visit was likely to be postponed until December.
Wang also met Ho Chi Minh City's Vietnamese Communist Party secretary Nguyen Van Nen on Saturday, the Chinese commerce ministry said.
(Reporting by Laurie Chen; Editing by Edmund Klamann)