For a New Vista in China-Vietnam Friendship
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and President of the People's Republic of China
At the invitation of General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong and President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang, I will soon pay a state visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Warm feelings well up inside of me as I am about to be back in this beautiful country after my visit at the end of 2015.
China and Vietnam are very close neighbors connected by mountains and rivers. Our peoples have engaged in exchange and mutual learning since ancient times.
In the struggle for independence and liberation in modern times, our peoples fought shoulder to shoulder, and forged a special bond of "camaraderie + brotherhood." Chairman Ho Chi Minh spent 12 long years in China for revolutionary activities. He was like a brother for Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai and other Chinese leaders. General Nguyen Son devoted himself to the Chinese revolution and traversed the Long March with the Chinese Red Army. He became the only foreign military officer commissioned in New China and a rare "general of two countries." The Chinese people also provided selfless help to Vietnam in its fight for national liberation. Chairman Mao once said that "The seven hundred million Chinese people are the strong supporters of the Vietnamese people, and the vast Chinese territory is the reliable rear area." Dou Jinbo, the first artillery adviser of the Chinese military advisory group to Vietnam, named his newborn daughter "Yue Hua," meaning "Vietnam and China" upon learning of his mission in Vietnam. This friendship forged with blood by the older generation of leaders of our two parties, countries and peoples in those tumultuous years must be remembered and cherished forever.
In the new era, our two peoples have worked closely to pursue reform and renewal, and advance the cause of socialism. We have explored socialist development paths suited to our own national conditions, created miracles in our respective development, and achieved marked progress in our bilateral ties. The two countries now enjoy deeper political mutual trust and closer high-level exchange. With my visit this time, the top leaders of our two parties and countries will have had mutual visits within a single year twice in just three years. The two countries have deepened and broadened practical cooperation. China has been Vietnam's biggest trading partner for 13 years in a row, and Vietnam has become China's biggest trading partner among ASEAN countries. Bilateral trade in 2016 reached nearly 100 billion U.S. dollars. More and more Chinese companies are investing in Vietnam. For example, as a Chinese company running in Vietnam for over 10 years, the Texhong Textile Group has created over 7,000 jobs in Bac Ninh through the plant it opened locally and contributed significantly to local tax revenues. The Long Jiang Industrial Park in Tien Giang, established mainly by private Chinese investors, now hosts over 30 companies. The two countries have increased people-to-people exchange. China has been Vietnam's largest source of foreign tourists, for whom Da Nang and Nha Trang are among the most popular destinations. There are over 300 passenger flights between the two countries every week. Both Chinese literature classics such as The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The Water Margin and contemporary Chinese movies and TV series have a large fan base in Viet Nam. Do Thi Thanh Hoa, a singer from Viet Nam, won the monthly championship at the "Avenue of Stars," a popular singing competition show on the China Central Television. More importantly, our two countries have, through friendly consultations, delimited the boundaries on land and in the Beibu Gulf and properly managed differences, creating favorable conditions for the common development of the two countries and for regional peace and stability. All the above examples best illustrate the underlying significance and rich implications of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Vietnam.
Today, the two countries have both embarked on a new journey of reform and development, forging ahead toward our respective ambitious goals. The Communist Party of China successfully held its 19th National Congress last month. Overall guidelines and program of action were set out for the future development of the party and the country, drawing a blueprint for China's development between now and the middle of this century. Our plan is to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020; basically realize socialist modernization by 2035; and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of this century. We have the confidence and the ability to lead the Chinese people toward fulfilling the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. Vietnam is, in line with the guidelines set at the 12th National Congress of the CPV, advancing all-round renewal for early realization of the goal of a prosperous people and a strong, democratic, equitable and advanced industrialized country toward modernity. We need to work hand in hand more than ever before in our pursuit of dreams of national strength and prosperity.
As the international and regional situations keep evolving, our two parties and countries face many identical or similar new problems and challenges. China has a saying, "Adversity makes one stronger, just as polishing makes jade finer." A Vietnamese saying says, "Do not put down your oar just because the waves run high." As good neighbors, friends, comrades and partners whose future is closely interconnected, we need to uphold and further grow our relations, support each other in our endeavors for stability, reform and people's livelihood, jointly advance the cause of socialism and promote regional peace, stability, openness and development. Here, I wish to share with you the following thoughts:
-- We need to keep to the right direction and achieve a new height in strategic mutual trust. We need to maintain close high-level engagement and have timely exchange of views on the relations between our two parties and countries and on issues of shared interest to keep the China-Vietnam relations moving in the right direction. We need to actively share experience on state governance and strengthen inter-party interactions, to enrich and develop the theories and practice of socialist development and build a community of shared future with strategic significance.
-- We need to deepen cooperation and foster new prospects for our interconnected interests. We need to enhance the complementarity of our development strategies, promote the development of the "Belt and Road" and the "Two Corridors, One Economic Belt," and work for substantive progress in our cooperation in key areas, including infrastructure, trade, industrial capacity, cross-border economic cooperation zones and agriculture, to deliver more benefits to people of our two countries.
-- We need to expand exchanges and build a new foundation for people-to-people affinity. We need to carry forward our traditional friendship, promote people-to-people exchange, step up cooperation in culture, education and tourism and between our youth and media organizations, to help our people know each other better and enhance popular support for our friendship to pass on from generation to generation.
-- We need to strengthen coordination and create new highlights in multilateral cooperation. We need to follow the trend in today's world and of our times, enhance coordination and cooperation within such multilateral frameworks as the United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), China-ASEAN Cooperation and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, and jointly champion open and inclusive regional cooperation to uphold the momentum of regional openness and development.
-- We need to bear in mind the big picture and write a new chapter of good-neighborliness in our relations. Acting in the larger interest of our own reform, development and stability and China-Vietnam friendship, we need to well manage our differences and disagreements, and stay committed to seeking a fundamental and durable solution to the maritime issues acceptable to both sides through friendly consultation. We need to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, actively advance the consultation on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and jointly uphold peace and stability there.
Another important agenda of my visit is to attend the 25th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang. China supports Vietnam in hosting a successful meeting, and will work with Vietnam and other members to engage in practical discussions on deepening regional economic integration, building the Free Trade Area in the Asia-Pacific, strengthening regional connectivity, advancing economic structural reform and innovation, promoting inclusive development and outlining the Post-2020 Vision under the theme of "Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future." We look forward to a highly productive meeting that contributes to the common development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.
Chairman Ho Chi Minh once compared the Vietnam-China relationship to the one "between hand and foot, between pestle and mortar, between root and stem, and between elder and younger brothers." A Chinese proverb also says, "When brothers are of the same mind, they have the power to cut through metal." I look forward to having in-depth discussions with the Vietnamese leaders and friends from various sectors on this visit to tap the potential for cooperation, build up friendship, deepen our special ties and jointly create a new vista in China-Vietnam relations.