Further developing Vietnam-China strategic cooperative partnership

Thursday, 2017-05-11 05:40:55
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President Tran Dai Quang and his wife (Credit: VNA)
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NDO – At the invitation of Chinese General Secretary and President Xi Jinping, President Tran Dai Quang and his wife on May 11 began an official visit to the People’s Republic of China to attend a high-level forum on the Belt and Road Initiative.

This is President Quang’s first official visit to China since the 12th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the 14th National Assembly (NA)’s election to the new leadership.

The President’s visit to China and attendance at the high-level forum on the Belt and Road Initiative is of significant political importance, contributing to the implementation of the 12th Party Congress’ foreign policy.

The visit not only aims to maintain the development of relations between the two Parties and the two countries, enhance political trust between the two countries' senior leaders, improve cooperation efficiency in the fields of economy, trade and investment; but also contributes to promoting information on guidelines and policies to attract investment from the Chinese business community. In addition, President Quang’s visit is also expected to reinforce the common awareness of keeping peace and stability and enhancing substantive progress in maritime negotiations as well as demonstrate Vietnam’s good will in initiatives and efforts to foster international integration and regional connectivity, including China’s organisation of a high-level forum on the Belt and Road Initiative.

Over the past 38 years of reform under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people have recorded tremendous achievements in socialist construction. China has become the second largest economy in the world while enhancing national strength. In recent years, China’s socio-economic situation has continued to see steady development. In 2015, China’s GDP reached CNY67,700 billion (around US$10.8 trillion), an increase of 6.9%, with GDP per capita of CNY21,966 (US$3.384 trillion). The country’s economy grew 6.7% in the first nine months of 2016.

After three years of launching the Belt and Road Initiative, China has made important strides in implementing this initiative. Accordingly, the country has actively mobilised international support, prepared finance and legal frameworks, and implemented specific projects in order to concretise the initiative into a formal cooperation framework with the first step of holding the high-level forum for international cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative. Vietnam supports China's successful organisation of this year’s forum themed “Belt and Road: Cooperation for Common Prosperity”, which aims to promote international integration and regional connectivity for common peace, development and prosperity on the basis of mutual respect, equality, and common benefit as well as adherence to UN Charter and international law and respect for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of participating nations.

The traditional friendly and neighbourly relations between Vietnam and China, nurtured by President Ho Chi Minh, Chairman Mao Zedong and generations of the two countries’ leaders, are a valuable asset of the two Parties, countries and people that must be passed down, safeguarded and promoted. Over the last 67 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, bilateral ties have seen ups and downs but friendship and cooperation have remained the primary theme. The Vietnamese people will always remember the Chinese people’s assistance to Vietnam’s struggle for national independence and reunification in the past as well as in its current national construction and reform.

It is glad to see that over the past time, relations between the two Parties and the two countries have seen healthy and strong development, achieving positive progress. Vietnam and China have established a comprehensive strategic partnership and implemented dozens of cooperative mechanisms at all levels in all areas. Delegation exchanges and high-level meetings between the two Parties and States as well as between the two countries’ ministries, agencies and localities have continued to be fostered. The two sides have affirmed their respect for the relations and agree to earnestly implement agreements and common perceptions reached by senior leaders of the two Parties and the two countries, aiming to continuously strengthening the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a stable and sustainable manner.

For more than the past ten years, China has been Vietnam’s largest trading partner while Vietnam has become China’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia with trade turnover in 2016 reaching US$71.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of 7.9%. Vietnamese – Chinese bilateral trade in the first quarter this year was estimated at US$18.87 billion, up 27.5% over the same period last year. Cooperation in culture, education, science-technology and tourism has seen many substantive developments. The situation on the land border and the Gulf of Tonkin has generally been stabilised. However, disputes in the East Sea remain complicated, especially in regards to China's construction of artificial islands in Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands, which has raised concerns among the Vietnamese public and the international community.

President Tran Dai Quang’s visit to China has significant meaning to Vietnam – China relations and Vietnam’s foreign relations in general. On this occasion, Vietnam affirms its resolve in its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation, consistently respecting and striving for substantive and fine relations with China on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit; maintaining high-level exchanges between the two Parties and States to enhance political trust; and protecting Vietnam’s legitimate rights in the East Sea on the basis of international law and maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea.

May President Tran Dai Quang’s official visit to China and participation in the high-level forum on the Belt and Road Initiative be a success, contributing to improving the efficiency of substantive cooperation in all fields, particularly the economy, between the two countries as well as strengthening traditional friendly and neighbourly relations and the comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and China in a healthy and stable manner for the sake of both countries’ peoples and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

NHAN DAN