For Vietnam, China is a bulwark against Western interventionism
First Voice

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As a part of his tour of regional countries, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Vietnam and participated in the 13th meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation. Vietnam official media described the visit and the meeting as two countries maintaining positive trends and that Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh sees win-win cooperation in a number of areas, including senior leadership visits, security issues, economic cooperation and COVD-19 management.

It's time for a closer China-Vietnam relationship, one which is guided by a spirit of mutual interests and growing partnership. It is time for old disputes and differences to be resolved in a productive and pragmatic way, and to ensure that no third countries can drive a wedge between them or stir up contention or distrust. It is a bilateral relationship not just of a historic proportion, but one which embeds enormous potential and promise. As two revolutionary communist states sharing a common ideology, worldview and vision, it is time to find a new way forwards.

Vietnam is on a similar developmental pathway as China. What the two countries hold in common far exceeds what sets them apart. Having successfully pursued a revolution, overthrown the shackles of colonialism and achieved national reunification, Hanoi has since orientated its priorities, like Beijing did, towards achieving national prosperity and development through establishing a socialist market economy, reform and opening up, achieving rapid GDP growth year upon year. There is little doubt that Vietnam will be an economy of the future, and the China-Vietnam relationship will ultimately be a critical bedrock of that potential.

As a result, it is more critical than ever that both countries learn to expand, structure harmonize their bilateral relationship, creating channels of co-existence, interactions and understanding which alleviates strategic mistrust or fear. China and Vietnam should conceive their relationship as neighbors and partners, not potential enemies, rivals or adversaries.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) meets with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Hanoi, Vietnam, September 11, 2021. /Xinhua

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) meets with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Hanoi, Vietnam, September 11, 2021. /Xinhua

The existence of the People's Republic of China safeguards the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and its political system, acting as a bulwark against Western anti-communism and interference in its internal affairs. Without China, the United States could seek, as it tried to in the 1960s, to try and topple and alienate Vietnam's government. In some ways, the success of Vietnam is meted on its partnership with China.

Of course, there are some differences between Hanoi and Beijing, not least related to territorial, border and maritime disputes. It is time for these two countries to expand dialogue, negotiations and prudence in these matters. Even if they cannot be instantly resolved, it is time to establish mechanisms to ensure these no longer create tensions. This should include both sides avoiding unilateral or provocative actions, expanding dialogue and communication channels, upholding peace and preventing third parties from romping up trouble for geopolitical ends and seeking a common goal of stability.

It is easy enough for certain countries to try and take a stake in these matters. Some are profiting from creating tensions and distrust for their own geopolitical ends, aiming to divide, militarize and exploit Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. It is up to the Chinese and Vietnamese people to step up and find a bilateral resolution in the interests of both parties. China is willing to talk and to place its faith in Hanoi as a neighbor that a way forwards can be met.

Ultimately, it is time to establish a shared vision, a shared prosperity and a shared partnership between China and Vietnam. The two neighbors share a common ideology, a common destiny and a common future. Beijing is ready to worth together with Hanoi across many fields and unleash its potential, rekindling a historical revolutionary solidarity between the two in building wealthy, advanced, harmonious and just states in the name of both countries' people.

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