This is the first visit to Vietnam made by the highest leader of the Party and State of China in the past nine years, and also the first Vietnam visit by the top leader of the fifth generation of the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership. The Vietnam visit made by Party General Secretary and State President Xi Jinping affirmed that China continues to attach great importance to further developing relations with Vietnam.
Over the past 35 years, China has made great achievements in socio-economic development. China has become the second largest economy in the world while enhancing national strength. The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in November, 2012 underlined the direction for the final stage of the comprehensive construction of a moderately prosperous society by 2020, and affirmed to continue to advance along the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
After the 18th Congress, General Secretary and President Xi Jinping has strongly implemented numerous important policies regarding both internal and foreign affairs in order to achieve the goals set by the Resolution of the Congress. In 2014, the socio-economic situation in China remained stable. The total gross domestic product (GDP) reached US$10,300 billion, marking a year-on-year increase of 7.4%. In 2015, China is striving to reach a GDP growth of about 7%, further improving the economic structure, and maintaining stable economic development, performing in-depth and comprehensive reform, as well as promoting comprehensive management of the country in accordance with the law.
Regarding foreign affairs, China has promoted bilateral and multilateral diplomatic activities to speed up economic recovery and regain growth momentum, affirming its commitment to following the path of peaceful development, and actively participating in international affairs. China has focused on neighbouring countries and actively participated in regional and inter-regional mechanisms. and attaches great importance to co-operation with ASEAN on the principles of mutual understanding and respect and friendly neighbourliness.
In the context of the two countries organising numerous practical activities to celebrate the 65th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties this year, the Vietnam visit made by General Secretary and President Xi Jinping is an event of great importance, contributing to maintaining the positive development trend of relations between the two countries. Leaders of the two countries also regularly hold meetings and exchanges, notably the visit to China made by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in April, 2015 and the Vietnam visit by Chinese Politburo Standing Committee member and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli in July this year. Leaders of the two sides reached the important common understanding on the orientations and measures to promote the bilateral relations in a stable, healthy and sustainable manner.
Since the normalisation of diplomatic relations in 1991, though the Vietnam-China ties have experienced difficulties, on the whole, ties have still been developing rapidly and extensively in all fields, bringing benefits for both sides. The two countries have established a comprehensive strategic partnership, and deployed dozens of diverse co-operative mechanisms at all levels and in all sectors. In the past 10 years, China has always been the largest trade partner of Vietnam, while Vietnam has become the second largest trading partner of China in Southeast Asia in 2014 with bilateral trade reaching more than US$58 billion. The situation of the land border and the Gulf of Tonkin is basically stable. However, developments in the East Sea are still complicated, especially China’s artificial island-building activity at Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago that caused concerns for Vietnam and the international community.
The Vietnam visit by General Secretary and Chinese President Xi Jinping has important implications in the Vietnam-China bilateral ties, as well as the overall external relations of Vietnam. On this occasion, Vietnam affirmed its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of external relations; consistently attaches importance to developing the relationship of substance and efficiency with China on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit; maintaining high-level exchanges between the two Parties and the States; resolutely protecting the legitimate interests of Vietnam in the East Sea on the basis of international law, controlling dissent, and maintaining the trend of peace and stability in the East Sea.
May the State visit to Vietnam made by General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Chinese President Xi Jinping be crowned with success, contributing to promoting the traditional friendship, neighbourly relations, and comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and China in a healthy, stable and sustainable manner for the interests of the two peoples, and for peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and around the world.