New momentum for sustainable development of Vietnam-China relationship: Op-Ed

The Vietnam-China relationship has experienced ups and downs over the past more than seven decades (January 18, 1950-2023), yet friendship and cooperation between the two countries have remained the mainstream.
New momentum for sustainable development of Vietnam-China relations:Op-Ed
New momentum for sustainable development of Vietnam-China relationship: General Secretaries of Vietnam and China at the meeting with nearly 400 officials and young people of the two countries in Hanoi, on December 13, 2023. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

The friendship, fostered by generations of the two countries’ leaders, has been a valuable shared asset, helping maintain the sustainability of the relationship, and bring tangible benefits to the two peoples.

New milestone in bilateral ties

The state visit to Vietnam by General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and President of China Xi Jinping and Spouse on December 12 and 13 was an important event to both countries, which drew public attention.

The visit was a success as through it, the two sides have enhanced political trust and mutual understanding, significantly contributing to promoting the solidarity and traditional friendship, and strengthening and deepening the bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.

This is the third state visit to Vietnam by Xi Jinping as Party General Secretary and President of China, and the first time the Chinese top leader has made a visit to a single country since the 20th National Congress of CPC.

In recent years, especially after the historic official visit to China by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong in 2022, the relationship has maintained a development trend with positive results.

This year marks the 15th anniversary (2008-2023) of the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, a milestone in the bilateral ties. High-ranking leaders of the two sides have maintained exchange and contact in various forms.

Since the beginning of this year, there have been many visits by high-ranking leaders. Notably, President Vo Van Thuong attended the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing from October 17-20; and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh paid an official visit to China and attended the 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Tianjin in June, and participated in the opening of the 20th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) in Nanning city, Guangxi province in September.

In addition, exchanges and cooperation between the two Parties have been conducted regularly. Agencies and localities of the two countries have also restored delegation exchanges after China adjusted its COVID-19 prevention and control policy.

During Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping’s freshly-concluded visit, the two Party General Secretaries shared the view that 15 years since the two countries established the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in 2008 and with the motto of "friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability, looking toward the future” and the spirit of "good neighbours, good friends, good comrades, good partners", cooperation in various fields has made positive and comprehensive progress, and the relations between the two Parties and two countries have been expanded and deepened continuously.

The bilateral economic, trade and investment ties have been growing more intensively. China has remained Vietnam’s biggest trade partner for 20 consecutive years. Vietnam is now China’s largest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the fourth largest overall. The two-way trade jumped to nearly 180 billion USD last year from only 20 billion USD in 2008.

New momentum for sustainable development of Vietnam-China relations:Op-Ed
The state visit to Vietnam by General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and President of China Xi Jinping and Spouse on December 12 and 13 was an important event to both countries: General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and General Secretary and Presiden of China Xi Jinping in Hanoi, on December 12, 2023. (Photo: WVR/Nguyen Hong)

Chinese investment in Vietnam has increased more than 10 times, from 2 billion USD in 2008 to 25 billion USD at present. In 2023, China has risen to the fourth place among the countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

People-to-people exchanges and cooperation between localities have become vibrantly, with many practical results. So far, nearly 60 Vietnamese provinces and cities have established friendly cooperation with Chinese localities.

The two sides have recorded many achievements in building the shared land border of peace, friendship and cooperation, contributing to socio-economic development of their border localities.

They have also strived to maintain negotiations and strengthen cooperation to, together with relevant parties, to manage differences in accordance with the provisions of international law, contributing to ensuring peace and stability in the East Sea and the region.

During the visit, the two sides reached many important common perceptions. Their joint statement sets out specific, comprehensive orientations. The joint statement, together with the signed cooperation documents in various fields, has created a framework and laid important foundations for cooperation between the two Parties, two countries and two peoples to grow further in the new period.

The visit is a new milestone, contributing to promoting the traditional friendship, elevating the Vietnam-China relations in the new period, and fostering peace, stability and development in the region and the world.

New cooperation prospects

On this occasion, high-ranking leaders of the two countries held in-depth discussions on important matters such as deepening collaboration in politics, security, national defence-security, economy, trade and people-to-people exchange, and stepping up coordination and collaboration at multilateral forums.

A total of 36 cooperation documents were signed between ministries, agencies and localities of the two sides, covering collaboration via the Party channel, as well as in national defence-security, justice, economy, trade, investment, digital economy, green growth, agricultural export, and irrigation, and maritime cooperation, among other fields.

According to Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo, the visit presents a very important opportunity for leaders of both countries to maintain and enhance strategic exchanges in the new situation.

“It aims to determine the new position of the bilateral relations in the new era, set a new direction for further development, and open up new prospects for cooperation in various fields. It will create new momentum for the sustainable development of the China-Vietnam relationship," he said.

The visit’s results show that Vietnam considers developing relations with China a top priority and a strategic choice, and supports the strong development of a socialist China, making more important contributions to peace and progress of humankind.

It also affirms the Vietnamese Party and State’s consistent foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation and development, diversification and multilateralisation of external relations.

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(Source: WVR/VNA)