General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong said Vietnam treasures its ties with China and is willing to work with the neighbour to deepen the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, agencies report.
He made the remarks at his talks with President of China Xi Jinping in Hanoi on Nov. 5.
He said the Chinese leader’s state visit comes when the two countries are celebrating the 65th founding anniversary of their diplomatic ties and the relations between the two parties.
It demonstrates China’s interest in further strengthening the friendship and ties with Vietnam, he said.
Xi, on his part, wished the CPV success at the 12th National Party Congress in early 2016 and hoped Vietnam would emerge as a strong, democratic, socialistic, prosperous and civilized country.
The two sides underscored the preservation and promotion of traditional friendship, solidarity and amity built and nurtured by late President Ho Chi Minh, Chairman Mao Zedong, and other leaders.
Trong called for more visits and meetings between high-ranking officials of the two countries to strengthen political trust and evolve steps to solve common problems.
Earlier in the day, Xi was given a red-carpet welcome and a rare 21-gun salute upon arrival in Hanoi before heading for closed-door talks with Nguyen.
“I hope my visit could help cement our traditional friendship, outline future development of our relations, and lift China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to a new level,” Xi said in a statement carried by China’s official Xinhua News Agency.
Xi and Trong witnessed the signing of a dozen cooperation agreements covering party-to-party relations, investment, infrastructure, culture and a bank loan worth US$200 million from China Development Bank to the Bank of Investment and Development of Vietnam.
Analysts say Xi’s two-day state visit is unlikely to make much progress in addressing territorial tensions.
“I personally think it’s difficult to resolve the issue of territorial disputes when Vietnam and China still maintain their positions,’’ said Duong Danh Dy, former Vietnamese consul general in Guangzhou, in southern China.
Xinhua said in a commentary that settling their territorial disputes depends on “the two neighbors’ will and ability to properly manage their differences,’’ and that they should not allow the outside world to interfere.
Witnesses said about 30 people protested briefly in front of the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi before authorities took them away in buses.
Jonathan London, a professor at Hong Kong’s City University, said it is in Vietnam’s interests to have good relations with its big neighbour to the north and that Vietnam could send a positive message to the Chinese President.
Despite territorial disputes, China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner with the two-way trade volume reaching US$58 billion last year.
Bui Hong Phuc, vice president of Vietnam-China Friendship Association, deemed Xi’s visit “the highest level visit to Vietnam by a Chinese leader” within 10 years, saying it is a great event in bilateral relations.
“I hope the visit will bring important outcomes, carrying joy for the two peoples,” Phuc told Xinhua.
“President Xi is expected to draw up a blueprint together with Vietnamese leaders for the development of China-Vietnam ties in the new era from a strategic and long-term perspective,” Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong said.
Vietnam is the first leg of Xi’s two-nation Asia tour, which will also take him to Singapore on Friday.