|Vietnamese Ambassador to China Dang Minh Khoi speaks at the event (Source: baomoi.com)
Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to China Dang Minh Khoi highlighted the traditional friendship between Vietnam and China, which was fostered by Presidents Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong, and many generations of the two countries’ leaders.
Though the bilateral relations have experienced ups and downs over the past 69 years, friendly cooperation remains the main course of action and the only correct choice that is significant to the development of each country, he said.
Developing its friendly and cooperative ties with China is one of the top priorities in Vietnam’s external policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation, and diversification, he stressed.
The diplomat expressed his pleasure at the positive development of Vietnam-China relations in recent years, proven by the effective implementation of the common perceptions reached by the two nations’ leaders.
In 2018, the two countries celebrated the 10th anniversary of the bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the first Chinese international import fair in Shanghai and had an important meeting with Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping.
The Vietnamese PM also met his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang twice at multilateral forums last year.
For the Chinese side, member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Zhao Leji paid a visit to Vietnam, while Vice Premier Hu Chunhua attended the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Vietnam. Foreign Minister Wang Yi twice visited Vietnam and had multiple meetings with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at multilateral forums, not to mention visits by leaders of ministries, sectors and localities of both countries.
The Vietnamese ambassador noted that bilateral trade is a highlight in the two countries’ relations, which is estimated to reach 150 billion USD in 2018, according to statistics from Chinese Customs.
Vietnam has been China’s biggest trade partner in the ASEAN for three consecutive years, and the eighth largest worldwide.
Meanwhile, China has been a leading trade partner of Vietnam over the past 15 years and became the seventh biggest foreign investor in Vietnam in 2018, Khoi said.
People-to-people exchanges have also been further strengthened. In the first 10 months of 2018, Vietnam welcomed nearly 6.5 million Chinese tourists, becoming the third most favoured destination for Chinese people after Thailand and Japan. Over the same period, more than 6.3 million Vietnamese tourists travelled to China, ranking second among foreign arrivals in China and first among those from ASEAN.
Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Qin Gang affirmed that China attaches great importance to its relations with Vietnam and will continue pursuing the motto of “friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability, and looking towards the future,” and in the spirit of “good neighbours, good friends, good comrades, and good partners”.
China, he said, is willing to work with Vietnam to effectively implement the common perceptions reached by leaders of the two countries’ parties and states in recent times, as well as promote the bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
The bilateral relations in 2019 will continue to see new strides forward with more important high-level visits and practical cooperation activities in preparation for the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam-China diplomatic ties in 2020, he added.