President Trần Đại Quang. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sáng
BEIJING – President Trần Đại Quang’s upcoming visit to China provides an important opportunity for top Vietnamese and Chinese leaders to continue their strategic discussions on Party and State relations as well as issues of common concern.
Việt Nam’s Ambassador to China, Đặng Minh Khôi, made the comments in an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency ahead of the President’s State-level visit to China and attendance at the high-level forum on the Belt and Road Initiative from May 11-15.
According to the Ambassador, President Quang is scheduled to hold talks with General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of China, Xi Jinping, and meet with key Chinese leaders during his visit.
On the occasion, Việt Nam and China will hold a workshop on bilateral economic-trade cooperation in 2017 with the participation of nearly 500 businesspeople.
The visit takes place at a time when the two countries’ relations have been consistently reinforced and enhanced across the board.
Ambassador Khôi noted that along with the sound political relations, Việt Nam and China had recorded encouraging outcomes in cooperation across economics, trade, investment and tourism, thus bringing practical benefits for the two peoples.
Two-way trade increased to US$72 billion (according to Vietnamese statistics), or $98 billion (according to Chinese statistics) in 2016, from US$9.9 billion in 2006.
China has been the biggest trade partner of Việt Nam over the past 13 consecutive years, while Việt Nam has become the largest ASEAN trade partner of China.
China’s investment in Việt Nam reached $1.8 billion in 2016 and $684 million in the first quarter of 2017.
The two countries have also expanded collaboration in education, tourism, and culture. Various activities have been held to increase people-to-people exchanges such as the Việt Nam-China youth festival and youth friendship meeting.
More than 10,000 Vietnamese students are studying in China, whilst China has over 3,000 students pursuing education in Việt Nam.
China is also among the largest tourism markets of Việt Nam with 2.8 million tourists in 2016. Additionally, Việt Nam is leading ASEAN in the number of holidaymakers to China, which almost topped 2 million in 2016.
The two sides have also closely coordinated in the management of land borders and strictly implemented legal documents on land border and delimitation of the Gulf of Tonkin. They have strengthened cooperation in building, managing and opening border gates, and applied measures to facilitate customs clearance, maintain security and stability in the shared border areas.
According to the Ambassador, Vietnamese and Chinese leaders have maintained regular and candid discussions on maritime issues.
He said the two sides agreed to pursue friendly negotiations on the basis of bilateral common perception and international law, to seek fundamental, long-term solutions acceptable to both sides to address marine matters, while implementing comprehensively and fully the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), working with ASEAN to early build a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), and effectively controlling disputes at sea to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea.
As a neighbouring country with traditional friendship and as an important trade partner of China, Việt Nam pledged to support China’s hosting of the high-level forum on the Belt and Road Initiative, which will see the presence of government leaders from 28 countries.
The Vietnamese and Chinese Party and State leaders also agreed to actively promote bilateral strategic connectivity, including the “Two Corridors, One Belt” framework and the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, the Ambassador said, noting that it would contribute to creating positive changes and enhancing the effectiveness of the economic-trade partnership between the two countries.-VNS