Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (Photo: VNA)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son highlighted the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Vietnam and China in his article published on the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on October 30.
The article was released on the occasion of the ongoing official visit to China by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong.
In the article, Son emphasised that the neighbouring countries boast the time-honoured friendship, saying since the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic ties more than 72 years ago, the friendship and cooperation have remained a mainstream.
With a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralism and persification of relations, the Vietnamese Party, State and people attach great importance to developing the friendly neighbourliness and comprehensive cooperation with their Chinese counterparts, the minister affirmed.
The reality shows that the consolidation and enhancement of the friendship and cooperation matches fundamental and long-term interests of the two Parties, countries and peoples, and is conducive to peace, stability, cooperation and development throughout the region and the world.
Thanks to joint efforts, the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership has made progress across spheres, Son continued, saying since the 12th CPV National Congress in 2016 and the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017, the relations between the two Parties and countries have maintained their positive growth and seen hallmarks.
Leaders of the two Parties and countries have maintained their regular contacts through flexible forms, and decided important orientations for the bilateral ties, according to the article.
The minister recalled the visit to Vietnam by Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping and his attendance at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in November 2017. This was the first overseas trip by Xi following the 19th CPC National Congress.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, trade between the two neighbouring countries still rose 24.6% to 165.9 billion USD last year. In the first eight months of this year, the figure hit 117.4 billion USD, up 10.8% year-on-year.
Since 2016, Vietnam has remained the biggest trade partner of China in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and China Vietnam’s biggest trade partner for 18 consecutive years.
China’s direct investment in Vietnam has grown through years, totaling 21.3 billion USD at the end of 2021, as compared with the 10.5 billion USD in late 2016.
In 2019 and 2020, China was the fourth largest investor in Vietnam, and it climbed to the third position last year, up seven places from 2015.
Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping (right) visits Vietnam in November 2017. (Photo: VNA)
It is not easy to gain such good results, especially in the context of the regional and global supply and production chains impacted by the pandemic, the minister noted.
He described the mutual support during the pandemic combat as a bright spot in the bilateral ties, saying that right after the pandemic broke out, Vietnam was one of the first countries to provide goods and medical equipment for Wuhan and other border localities of China.
In return, China was among the countries that supplied the most vaccines in the fastest way to Vietnam, with more than 50 million doses, both donations and commercial supply. China has also been launching medical aid packages worth 26.5 million CNY (3.63 million USD) for Vietnam.
The article also touched upon efforts by both countries to manage and address differences satisfactorily, expand common views, and maintain peace and stability, for the development of each side and the region at large.
The two sides have maintained the exchanges of ideas in negotiation mechanisms on border and territory, and seriously and fully implemented high-level agreements and common perceptions, and satisfactorily settled emerging issues in a timely manner.
They have closely coordinated in managing the shared border line and border markers, building and upgrading border gates, fighting diseases, removing difficulties in goods circulation, and promoting development cooperation in the border area.
For the sea issue, they have also maintained regular exchanges of ideas at all levels and channels.
The article also commends coordination and cooperation between Vietnam and China in regional and international mechanisms, especially within ASEAN.
Vietnam highly values China’s support and cooperation during the former’s non-permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021, Son said, adding that Vietnam stands ready to work together with China and other countries to step up exchanges of ideas and sketch out substantive cooperation programmes within the Global Development Initiative, contributing to fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
Regarding prospects of the Vietnam-China ties, Son cited statements by Party General Secretary Trong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to reaffirm that the Vietnamese Party, State and people attach importance to consolidating and developing the bilateral relations, taking this as a consistent policy and top priority in Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation and persification of relations, and intensive and extensive international integration.
In their recent meetings, high-ranking Party and State leaders of the two countries also affirmed their readiness to bring the relationship to a new period of development with higher political trust, more pragmatic cooperation, and more solid friendship foundation.
To that end, Son suggested the two countries enhance high-level exchanges and meetings and utilise cooperation mechanisms between the two Parties as well as agencies and mass organisations of the two countries.
They should work harder to promote economic, trade and investment ties, expand cooperation to other areas that match the interests of both sides, effectively cope with newly emerging issues like energy, food, water resources and cyber security, and satisfactorily handle differences in the spirit of friendship and in line with high-ranking common perceptions and international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).
At the end of this article, Son expressed his belief that the Vietnam-China relationship will constantly receive new push and be advanced to a new height, for the sake of the two peoples, and for peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world./.