Liu Yunshan, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s elite Standing Committee that runs the country, told Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi, in the first such high level visit since relations deteriorated in July, that the two parties “constitute a community of shared destiny with strategic significance”, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.

“The sound and stable development of the bilateral ties will help to solidify the ruling position of the two parties, which is in the interests of the two parties and people of the two nations,” Xinhua cited Liu as saying.

“The two economies are highly complementary, with huge potential for practical cooperation,” the report quoted him as saying.

Phuc told Liu that two countries should strive to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and avoid all activities that could increase tension, the Vietnamese government news website reported.

He also urged China to “have substantial discussions soon” with Southeast Asian nations to reach a code of conduct in the disputed sea, the report said.

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