China has welcomed the first foreign leader to visit the country since the conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) — General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong.
At the invitation of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and Chinese president, Trong is on an official visit to China which began on October 30.
During their talks on Monday, the two leaders vowed to make joint efforts in promoting the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era to a new level.
A visit showing solid friendship
Noting that Trong is the first foreign leader he has met since the 20th CPC National Congress and this is Trong's first trip abroad since the 13th National Congress of the CPV, Xi said that it fully shows the great importance the two sides attach to developing relations between the two countries and the two parties.
Xi also presented the Friendship Medal of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to Trong, saying that the medal represents the profound friendship of "comrades plus brothers" between China and Vietnam.
The award is presented to those who support the country's modernization, promote exchanges between China and the world and safeguard world peace.
Trong said that he has fulfilled his promise to Xi that he would visit China for his first international visit following his re-election as General Secretary of the CPV in January 2021.
Five years ago in November, Xi chose Vietnam as his first overseas destination after the 19th CPC National Congress.
The Vietnam News Agency said that Trong's trip is a reciprocal visit, which aims to "affirm Vietnam's consistent policy of attaching importance to relations with China as a top priority."
A visit charting the course for bilateral relations
The two leaders agreed to continuously advance socialist modernization, align development strategies, and promote cooperation in various areas, such as medical and health care, green development, digital economy and climate change.
For the cause of socialism and China-Vietnam relations, adhering to the correct political direction is paramount, Xi said.
Highlighting the two sides should consolidate the socialist economic foundation, he said China is ready to synergize its development strategies with Vietnam.
China regards the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy and a key region in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and attaches importance to Vietnam's role in the ASEAN, Xi said.
Trong said that Vietnam is willing to further synergize the "Two Corridors and One Economic Circle" and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical upheavals in the world, Vietnam is China's largest trading partner in the ASEAN and the sixth largest in the world, with bilateral trade exceeding $230 billion in 2021.
In July, China and Vietnam agreed to further strengthen the docking of development strategies and speed up cooperation under the BRI and the "Two Corridors and One Economic Circle" plan.
The "Two Corridors and One Economic Circle" plan is an initiative to boost regional economic cooperation between China and Vietnam. It involves several areas in southern and southwestern China and northern Vietnam.
During their talks, Trong also stressed that his country firmly adheres to the one-China policy, firmly opposes any form of separatist activities seeking "Taiwan independence," and will not develop any official relations with Taiwan.
Vietnam does not allow any country to establish a military base on its territory, does not join any military alliance, does not use force against any country, and does not unite with one country against another, he said.
Following the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of cooperation documents on political parties, economy and trade, environmental protection, culture and tourism, justice, customs and local affairs.
Other Chinese officials also meet with Trong
On Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, top legislator Li Zhanshu and top political advisor Wang Yang also met with Trong, respectively.
Noting that China and Vietnam share broad common interests, Li Keqiang said China attaches great importance to relations with Vietnam.
The Chinese premier called on the two countries to maintain high-level exchanges, enhance communication and mutual learning, and deepen the alignment of their development strategies to address global uncertainties and instabilities with the stability of the China-Vietnam relationship.
"China is ready to import more marketable agricultural products from Vietnam and jointly maintain the facilitation of trade with Vietnam at border ports," Li Keqiang said.
Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said that China's NPC is willing to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Vietnam's National Assembly (NA) and contribute to deepening the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era.
Wang Yang, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, said China is willing to work with the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) to implement the consensus reached by the top leaders of the two parties, inherit and carry forward the traditional friendship between China and Vietnam, and make positive contributions to building the two countries into a community with a shared future that bears strategic significance.
(With input from Xinhua)
(Cover: Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chinese president, holds a ceremony to welcome Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, prior to their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 31, 2022. /Xinhua)