习近平会见德国总理朔尔茨
习近平会见德国总理朔尔茨
Opinion >

Xi's visit to Vietnam boosts elevation of bilateral ties

Source: China Daily | 2023-12-15
Share:
Xi's visit to Vietnam boosts elevation of bilateral ties

By Song Qingrun

[Photo by Song Chen/China Daily]

President Xi Jinping's state visit to Vietnam on Tuesday and Wednesday, his second in six years to Vietnam and perhaps his last foreign trip this year, shows that China accords priority to the development of Beijing-Hanoi ties as part of its neighborhood diplomacy.

During Xi's visit, the two sides announced the upgrading of relations between the two parties and the two countries so as to build a strategic and meaningful China-Vietnam community with a shared future and deepen their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

The general secretaries of the two countries' ruling parties share common ideals and values. And as good neighbors, partners, brothers and comrades, China and Vietnam have unique advantages when it comes to building a community with a shared future, which is of huge strategic significance.

The elevation of China-Vietnam ties is a natural progression in line with the current trend. The deep friendship between the older generation of leaders of the two countries has laid a solid foundation for a strong and mutually beneficial bilateral relationship. The phrase "deep friendship between comrades plus brothers" vividly captures the essence of China-Vietnam ties.

Besides, party-to-party exchanges have played a special role in deepening the relations between the two countries, marked by regular high-level visits between the ruling parties and the deepening of their cooperation in various fields.

The two sides share many common economic interests, with China being Vietnam's largest trading partner and Vietnam being China's largest trading partner in the ASEAN bloc and the fourth-largest globally. Also, the longstanding people-to-people friendship has strengthened emotional ties between the two sides, which have carried out with enthusiasm various friendly exchanges and interactions, such as border festivities.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a welcome ceremony held by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, Dec. 12, 2023. Upon Xi's arrival in Hanoi, he had a meeting with Trong on Tuesday. [Photo by Ju Peng/Xinhua]

The upgrading of ties charts a bright new blueprint for China-Vietnam relations in the new era. During his meeting with Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, Xi Jinping, who is also the general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said he believed that with mutual efforts, China-Vietnam relations will enter a new stage characterized by deeper political mutual trust, more pragmatic security cooperation, closer multilateral coordination and better management of differences.

The development of socialist China and Vietnam will continue to make new achievements and contribute more to regional and global stability and development. And under the strategic guidance of the two ruling parties, the two sides will likely increase exchanges, deepen mutual trust, strengthen pragmatic cooperation in various fields, and consolidate the foundation of a China-Vietnam community with a shared future, ushering in new opportunities for development.

With the implementation of the agreements they have signed, the two sides can leverage their geographical proximity and complementary advantages to accelerate the alignment between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Vietnam's "Two Corridors and One Economic Circle" development plan to build stable and smooth industry and supply chains. And by deepening cooperation in areas such as the digital economy and green development, the two sides can boost their economic growth and promote stronger, greener and healthier global development.

There is also great potential for developing both "hard connectivity" and "soft connectivity" between China and Vietnam. The two countries' cooperation has already led to significant achievements in infrastructure projects such as the Hanoi light railway, setting the stage for deeper cooperation, which would further improve infrastructure connectivity, including railways and highways, as well as land, sea, air and internet networks. With the development and upgrading of cross-border connectivity, and the expeditious construction of smart border ports, the flow of people and goods between the two countries will become even more convenient, promoting trade and cultural exchanges between the two sides.

In fact, the Sino-Vietnamese border smart port could become a major regional logistics hub, connecting China with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in a shorter time, at a more competitive price and with greater efficiency, further liberalizing regional trade.

During Xi's visit, the two sides also agreed to explore and cooperate in maritime projects and jointly promote maritime development, which could turn the challenges posed by their maritime disputes into opportunities for deepened cooperation between the two sides and contribute to the progress of the talks on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea that is of great significance for regional stability and development.

The construction of a strategically significant community with a shared future will help both countries in their respective pursuit of modernization.

That the Chinese leader once again chose to visit a neighboring country toward the end of the 2023 diplomatic calendar year demonstrates China's high regard for its neighbors, and highlights the strategic significance of building a Sino-Vietnamese community with a shared future, not least because it could serve as an ideal example for building an Asian community with a shared future and a community with a shared future for mankind.

The author is a professor at the School of Asian Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University.

8013950