hinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Vietnam from November 10 to 13, further strengthening ties between the two Asian nations.
Xi’s visit came as he also attended the 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang, where he delivered a speech calling on member countries to seize the opportunities the global economic recovery will bring, and to keep strengthening the multilateral partnership for more inclusive development.
These ideas were reflected during Xi’s stay in Vietnam, where both sides reached agreements on cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative and the “two economic corridors and one economic ring” that link China’s southern areas and Vietnam for cooperation in multiple fields.
China and Vietnam have had frequent exchanges at various levels in recent years. Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, visited China in January 2017, followed by Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang’s May visit to China when he attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Xi’s visit to Vietnam followed the recently concluded 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China which analysts have indicated shows the emphasis China places on its neighbor. State broadcaster the Voice of Vietnam labeled 2017 an “especially meaningful year for the Vietnamese-Chinese relationship.”
China and Vietnam have benefited from such frequent exchanges – China has been Vietnam’s biggest trade partner for 13 consecutive years, and Vietnam is China’s ninth-largest trade partner, and the biggest trade partner in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Media reports said the two countries are expected to accomplish a trade volume of US$100 billion in 2017.
The close cooperation is also helping to cool down the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, according to media reports. Singapore’s Chinese paper Lianhe Zaobao reported that the Chinese and Vietnamese leaders reached consensus on jointly safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Given both countries are socialist, analysts believe that the Sino-Vietnamese relationship will play a crucial political role.
“The two countries should treat the bilateral relationship from a higher and wider angle. They should learn from each other and jointly promote socialist construction to set a good example for the community of common destiny and the new-style of international relationship,” commented Wang Linggui, the executive deputy-director of the National Institute for Global Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.