- Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in the Vietnamese capital of
Hanoi on Thursday, kicking off a two-day state visit to the neighboring
country. It is Xi’s first visit to Vietnam as China’a head of state and
top leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Xi’s plane touched down at Noi Bai International Airport at about
11:50 a.m. local time (0450 GMT). Xi, together with his wife Peng Liyuan
and other delegation members, were greeted by Dinh The Huynh, a member
of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party
of Vietnam (CPV).
"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," the
president said in a written statement upon arrival. China attaches great
importance to its traditional friendship with Vietnam and views
bilateral ties from a strategic height and long-term perspective, said
Xi. He lauded the smooth development of bilateral ties since the two
countries forged diplomatic relations 65 years ago, saying their
deepened partnership has brought tangible interests for the two peoples
and made important contribution to regional peace, stability and
Xi recalled the April visit to China by Nguyen Phu Trong, general
secretary of the CPV Central Committee, saying the consensus reached
between the two sides is now being implemented and the bilateral
relationship is moving forward to the building of China-Vietnam
community of common destiny.
Xi said he is looking forward to having in-depth exchanges of view
with Trong, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and other Vietnamese
leaders on the relations between the two parties and the two countries,
as well as on international and regional issues of common concern. He
will also address the Vietnamese parliament on how to further promote
China-Vietnam relations. China and Vietnam are expected to sign a host
of agreements on areas such as party-to-party cooperation,
infrastructure, economy, trade, investment, culture and education.
"Despite the short time span of the visit, the achievements are
expected to be fruitful," Li Jun, a senior official of the International
Department of the CPC Central Committee, said at a news briefing
regarding Xi’s visit earlier.
Xi’s visit comes at a time when the two countries are celebrating the
65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. 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.
Relations between China and Vietnam sank to a low point last year due
to disputes over the South China Sea, but the two sides have seen warmer
ties with frequent high-level contacts this year. Xi’s trip is also
reciprocal for previous visits to China by Trong and Sang.
Highlighting the shared interests between the two socialist countries
led by communist parties, the leaders of both sides have agreed to bear
in mind the overall situation of China-Vietnam friendship and seek
common ground while shelving differences, so as to ensure that the
bilateral relationship will develop on a right track.
China has been Vietnam’s largest trading partner for 11 consecutive
years, while Vietnam is now the second biggest ASEAN trading partner of
China. The two countries have also witnessed enhanced people-to-people
exchanges in recent years.
"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.