Q: Could you please brief us on main results of the two ministries’ cooperation over the years?
A: In just a few more days, Vietnam and China will celebrate the 67th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (January 18, 1950-2017). In the past 67 years, especially in recent years, the relationship between Vietnam and China has seen very strong development in all fields. Firstly, the two nations have maintained high-level visits and meetings in various forms, contributing to enhancing political trust and promoting cooperation. The two countries established a strategic cooperative partnership in 2008 based on the principle of the “16-word” motto (Friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive cooperation, long-lasting stability and looking forward to the future) and the “four goods” spirit (being good neighbours, good friends, good comrades and good partners).
The two sides have expressed their desire to constantly deepen the relations between their two Parties and peoples. Over the years, through negotiations, the two countries have exerted efforts to solve existing problems in bilateral relations. Vietnam and China completed the demarcation of their border in 2008, laying the foundation for ensuring peace, friendship and cooperation therealong. In 2000, the two countries signed the Agreement on the Delimitation of the Gulf of Tonkin, which was considered a very important step in continuously consolidating and strengthening bilateral relations, as well as for stable and long-term development for both countries.
Economic and trade cooperation has also seen many improvements. In 1991, when the two countries normalised their ties, bilateral trade was only US$37 million; it had increased to US$3 billion by 2001, and it is currently nearly US$100 billion. People-to-people exchanges have been fostered and nearly three million Chinese and Vietnamese visit each other’s country each year. There are currently 10,000 Vietnamese students in China and 3,000 Chinese students in Vietnam. They will serve as future ambassadors promoting friendly relations between the two peoples.
Q: Could you please tell us about the significance of the official visit to China by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong?
A: At the invitation of General Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong will conduct an official visit to China from January 12-15.
This visit is extremely important, as it will be the first time Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has visited China in his capacity as Secretary General since the successful organisation of the 12th National Party Congress in early 2016. This is also the Party chief’s third time going to China as Party General Secretary. The visit is taking place at a time important to Vietnam-China relations, as the two countries mark the 67th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and welcome the Lunar New Year of 2017.
It can be said, in the past years, with the efforts made by both sides, bilateral cooperation has seen strong development in all fields, from politics to economics and from culture and people-to-people exchanges; at the same time, the two sides also exchanged views on strengthening the maintenance of peace and stability in the East Sea.
This is the first visit by a foreign dignitary to China on the occasion of the New Year. Chinese and Vietnamese people share the same thought that all new good things begin in spring. We hope that this visit will create a strong momentum to further promote relations between the two Parties and the two countries, as well as create conditions for further increasing visits and exchanges between senior leaders of the two Parties and States in 2017.
The most important question in relations between the two Parties and the two countries is how to continuously enhance and strengthen the traditional friendship and further enhance political trust between the two sides. Therefore, during this visit, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong will discuss with top leaders of China how to further foster political relations between the two sides.
It is good to see that in recent years, economic and trade ties between the two countries have developed in a more healthy and balanced manner. This visit will also contribute to further strengthening economic and trade cooperation between the two countries in all fields, especially in the context of the two countries’ entering a key phase of continuously innovating, reforming and opening up. Vietnam will enter the second year of the implementation of the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress while China is in the last year of preparations for its 19th National Party Congress. The task of development is very important to both countries and peoples, particularly amidst a global economic slowdown.
People-to-people exchanges between the two countries are constantly being enhanced and strengthened and the number of visitors between the two sides is growing. The Party chief’s visit to China will provide a good opportunity for the leaders of the two countries to exchange measures to promote and further strengthen people-to-people diplomacy. During the visit, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong will attend the reception for the 67th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and meet with Chinese patriots close to Vietnam.
Vietnam and China are neighbours. A stable and fine relationship means very much for both sides’ development. Vietnam and China have a lot in common. The institutions, policies and political lines of the two countries have a lot of similarities. The two Parties and States have affirmed the persistence of the Communist Parties’ leadership, for national development goals. In the context of rapid and complicated developments in the regional and global situations, we hope that this visit will help further enhance political trust, promote co cooperation in all fields between Vietnam and China, and contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea, in the region and around the world.
Thank you very much!