This is the first State-level visit of State President Tran Dai Quang to China after the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the 14th National Assembly elected the new leadership of the Party and country, and his first visit to China in his capacity as Vietnam’s State President.

President Tran Dai Quang arrived in Beijing. Photo: VNA 

The Vietnamese State President’s China visit takes place at a time when Vietnam-China relations continuously saw new positive developments. Leaders of the two parties and States regularly exchanged their visits and reached common views on further strengthening the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic partnership in a stable and healthy manner. Exchanges and cooperation between ministries, branches and localities of the two countries were on the move while cooperation on economics, trade, investment and tourism was expanded.

In 2016, two-way trade reached nearly US$ 72 billion, a year-on-year rise of 7.9%, of which Vietnam’s exports were valued at nearly US$ 22 billion worth of goods and its import turnover stood at nearly US$ 50 billion; Vietnam suffered a trade deficit of about US$ 30 billion, down by 13.7% against 2015, with China.

China continued to be the largest trade partner of Vietnam while Vietnam has become the largest trade partner of China among ASEAN nations. In the first three months of 2017, bilateral trade reached US$ 19 billion, an increase of 27.5% against the same period last year.

As of March 2017, China with 1,615 investment projects worth USD 11.2 billion in Vietnam ranked eighth among the 116 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

China continues to have taken the lead in the number of tourists to Vietnam with 2.7 million in 2016, a yearly rise of 51%, while Vietnam has topped ASEAN in the volume of visitors to China with 2.2 million. Some 950,000 Chinese tourists arrived in Vietnam during January-March this year, up by 163.5% from the same time last year.

The two countries have maintained a basically stable situation along their shared borderline both on land and in the Gulf of Tonkin. The two sides conducted the 7th meeting of the Vietnam-China Land Border Joint Committee in January 2017, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in breeding and protecting aquatic resources in the Gulf of Tonkin in January 2017.

Since the beginning of 2017, Vietnam and China have maintained exchanges on maritime issues and agreed to follow the common perceptions reached by their Party and State leaders and implement the agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of marine matters, as well as to effectively use governmental-level negotiation mechanisms on land border and sea-related issues.

They also agreed to seek long-term solutions acceptable to both side to address maritime issues while seriously implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (South China Sea) known as DOC, soon building the Code of Conduct in the East Sea or COC, effectively controlling disputes at sea without actions to complicate and expand disputes, and maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea.

After three years since the inception of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, China has reached various important achievements in mobilizing international support, preparing financial resources, establishing legal frameworks, and taking up specific projects, which has laid a firm foundation for an official regional cooperation framework with the high-level forum on the Belt and Road Initiative as a good start.

The high-level forum 2017, which is themed “The Belt and Road Initiative: Cooperation for Common Prosperity” and will take place on May 14-15 in Beijing, has drawn the participation of leaders of 28 countries and territories, the UN Secretary General, the President of the World Bank, and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. The event is expected to provide opportunities to boost multilateral cooperation in the region, to promote intercontinental connectivity, and enhance cooperation between nations on the basis of mutual benefits and respecting each other’s sovereignty and legitimate interests.

On May 11, State President Tran Dai Quang and his spouse leading a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation left Vietnam for China to pay the State visit to the country and attend the high-level forum on the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative.

The visit aims to maintain the momentum of bilateral cooperation between the two countries’ Parties and States, cement political trust, improve bilateral cooperation efficiency in economics, trade and investment, and introduce Vietnam’s investment attraction policies to Chinese businesses.

The visit is also to consolidate the two countries’ leaders’ views on preserving peace and stability and stepping up negotiations on maritime issues, as well as to show Vietnam’s goodwill to promote regional and international integration, connectivity and cooperation, and its support for China’s organization of the high-level forum on the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative.

The Vietnamese people strongly believe that the State visit to China by State President Tran Dai Quang and the high-ranking delegation led by the Vietnamese State President will bring about much success, contributing to elevating Vietnam-China relations to a new height.

Written by the Editorial Board

Translated by Thu Nguyen