Chinese President and Party Leader to Visit Viet Nam

Vietnamese Secretary General (R) receives Chinese President Hu Jintao in Ha Noi last year

Hu Jintao, Secretary General of the Communist Party of China and President of the People's Republic of China, and his wife will pay an official friendship visit to Viet Nam from November 15-17, the Foreign Ministry announced in a communiqué on Friday.

Hu Jintao and his wife will be guests of Secretary General of the Communist Party of Viet Nam Nong Duc Manh and State President Nguyen Minh Triet.

The visit will take place in the context of the deepening friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Viet Nam and China, benefiting both countries, especially since they normalized their relations in 1991.

Bilateral relations have developed rapidly in all areas. The two sides have signed 52 agreements at the state level, building legal foundations for long-term cooperation. They also annually exchange over 100 delegations of high-ranking officials of various ministries, sectors and localities.

Meetings between the two countries' senior leaders are organized every year. In 2006, Party Secretary General Nong Duc Manh visited China. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the 6th ASEM Summit in Finland in September, and at the commemorative summit marking the 15th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between China and the ASEAN in Nanning, China, in October.

Cooperation between key sectors such as foreign affairs, national defense and security have been strengthened. A cooperation agreement between the two foreign ministries was signed in December 2002, between public securities ministries in September 2003 and national defense ministries in October 2003.

A breakthrough was also made in trade and economy. Two-way trade turnover increased from US$32.23 million in 1991 to US$8.74 billion in 2005. In the first nine months of this year, the figure reached US$7.2 billion and is expected to hit US$10 billion by the end of the year, equaling to the target by 2010.

China has always been Viet Nam's leading trade partner. Since 1991, Viet Nam has exported to China over 100 staples like crude oil, rubber, seafood, vegetables and coal. Meanwhile, the country imported about 200 products from China, mainly industrial products including machines, equipment, spare parts, petroleum, fertilizers, and steel.

By mid-October this year, China ranked 15th among 74 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam, with 399 projects currently in operation and a combined registered capital of US$834.7 million. These projects are concentrated in 42 out of the country's 64 provinces and cities.

The two countries have signed an agreement on basic principles of settling border and territory issues. The negotiations on land border, the "Tonkin” Gulf demarcation and sea-related issues have officially begun. The two countries have so far conducted 12 rounds of negotiations on border and territory issues at the governmental level.

The two sides have actively carried out joint surveys on marine resources in the common fishing ground as well as joint patrols on the Tonkin Gulf and negotiations on delineation of the water area off the Tonkin Gulf. A tripartite agreement between Viet Nam, China and the Philippines on a joint survey of seismic activity in the East Sea is also being implemented.

The two countries have agreed to coordinate closely in completing the demarcation of land borders, the planting of border markers by 2008 and accelerating the pace of cooperation in exploring and exploiting oil and gas structures crossing the delineated border.

During the upcoming visit by President Hu Jintao, the two countries are expected to sign a number of agreements, including a framework agreement on economic and trade cooperation and a memorandum of understanding on the cooperation of "Two Corridors, One Belt". They are the Nanning-Lang Son-Ha Noi- Hai Phong-Quang Ninh and the Kunming-Lao Cai-Ha Noi- Hai Phong-Quang Ninh corridors. The project will lead to prospects for respective countries' economic development.

The visit is a chance for the two sides to maintain the tradition of high-level meetings and affirm the commitment to the motto, "friendly neighborliness, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability and future-oriented vision" and under the spirit of "good neighborliness, good friendship, good comradeship and good partnership".

The two sides will inform each other of their respective countries' situation and discuss orientations for accelerating and further expanding bilateral cooperative ties in all fields in order to meet the desires and mutual interests of the two peoples and for peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large.

Source: SGGP, VNA - Compiled by Van Hanh

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