The upcoming state visit to Vietnam by China's Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping is expected to bring bilateral cooperation to a new level, said Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Minh Vu.
In an interview granted to the press, Vu said Xi's visit on Dec. 12 and 13 will be the first visit by the top leader of the Chinese Party and State to Vietnam since the 20th CPC National Congress and one year after the China visit by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.
General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (L) and General Secretary, President of China Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Oct. 31, 2022.
This visit, which coincides with the 15th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Vietnam and China, is expected to be a new milestone in the two countries' relations, he said.
Vu underlined three major expectations of both sides during this visit.
Firstly, it is the expectation for a "new positioning" and "new level" of bilateral relations.
On the foundation of important achievements that the two sides have gained over the past 15 years, leaders of the two Parties and countries are expected to further deepen the bilateral cooperation framework for a long-term future of ties between the two countries in a sustainable and substantial and effective direction, contributing to peace, stability, and cooperation in the region and the world.
Secondly, substantial cooperation outcomes are also expected, said Vu. He held that leaders of the two Parties and countries will define major orientations and focus as well as specific measures to foster their collaboration in all fields, meeting the interests of both sides.
There will be likely a large number of documents signed in many fields, creating an important basis for agencies, localities, people, and businesses to cooperate more effectively in the coming time.
Thirdly, there is the expectation about the spillover effect of the visit to all levels, sectors, and people from all walks of life. This visit, along with Trong's visit last year, is hoped to continue to create strong motivations and momentum for sectors, localities, and people to continue to maintain and develop their existing relationships, thereby building a solid and good social foundation for the development of bilateral relations.
Vu highlighted the development of Vietnam - China relations, saying that Vietnam and China have many similarities as they share a border and are Communist party-led socialist countries. The two countries have traditionally friendly relationships, so they value their relations with each other and determine bilateral relations as the priority direction in each country's foreign relations.
Since the two nations established a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership 15 years ago, the relationship between the two Parties and States has developed substantively, firmly, and comprehensively across spheres, Vu said.
Political relations have developed strongly, he said, adding that all-level meetings between leaders of the Party, State, Government, National Assembly, and fatherland front agencies of the two countries have been regularly conducted.
Many visits of senior Vietnamese and Chinese leaders marked important milestones in the relationship between the two countries, including the historic visit to China by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong in October last year.
Economic, trade, and investment cooperation between the two sides has been further intensified. China has been Vietnam's largest trading partner for 20 consecutive years, and Vietnam currently is China's biggest trading partner in ASEAN, and 4th largest trading partner in the world after the U.S., Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
The two-way trade increased nine times to nearly US$180 billion in 2022 from $20 billion in 2008. China’s investment in Vietnam rose more than 10 times to $25 billion over the last 15 years. In 2023, China ranks fourth among countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
People-to-people exchanges and cooperation between localities of Vietnam and China have recorded many practical results. So far, nearly 60 provinces and cities of Vietnam have set up friendly and cooperative ties with Chinese localities. Socio-political organizations and localities of both sides have established and periodically organized many cooperation mechanisms and programs. Before the Covid-19 outbreak, China continuously led in the number of tourists to Vietnam for many years.
The two sides have gained many achievements in building a shared land border of peace, friendship, and cooperation, contributing to the socio-economic development of localities along the border, he said.
The two countries have maintained negotiations and intensified collaboration to, together with the parties involved, control disagreements and differences in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982), thus contributing to ensuring peace and stability in the East Sea and the region.