I will soon pay a state visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at the invitation of General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong and President Vo Van Thuong. It will be my third visit to this beautiful country since I became General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and President of the People’s Republic of China. I feel that I am already immersed in the warmth that people would only have when visiting relatives and neighbors.
China and Vietnam are connected by mountains and rivers. We enjoy cultural proximity, cherish the same ideals, and have a shared future ahead of us. Inspired by common visions, convictions and empathy, Comrade Mao Zedong, Comrade Ho Chi Minh and other older-generation leaders of our two parties and countries jointly cultivated the China-Vietnam traditional friendship featuring “camaraderie plus brotherhood.” We stood together wholeheartedly and supported each other in pursuing national independence and liberation. In advancing socialism, we shared our experience and expanded our cooperation, writing together a historic chapter of China-Vietnam friendship.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. No matter how the global environment has changed, our two parties and countries have worked together to uphold peace and tranquility, pursue development and cooperation, and promote prosperity and progress. We have found a promising path of jointly building a community with a shared future for mankind.
We have conducted exchanges with mutual trust. Leaders of our two parties and countries have visited each other frequently like relatives. I had close interactions with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong through the year. We jointly drew up a blueprint for China-Vietnam relations in the new era from a strategic and long-term perspective, adding new dimensions to the relationship and raising it up to a new stage. I met with President Vo Van Thuong, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and permanent member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the CPV Truong Thi Mai, who came to China for bilateral visits or international conferences. The two sides held the session of the steering committee for bilateral cooperation, the party-to-party theoretical symposium, the conference on crime control between the two public security ministries, and other meetings under bilateral mechanisms. Interagency and subnational cooperation was getting ever closer.
We have enhanced our common interests with mutually beneficial cooperation. China has long been Vietnam’s largest trading partner, and Vietnam is China’s biggest trading partner in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the fourth largest globally. At China’s invitation, Vietnamese leaders attended the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the sixth China International Import Expo, the seventh China-South Asia Expo, and the 20th China-ASEAN Expo. Vietnamese agricultural exports including fruits and vegetables are the favorites of Chinese consumers. China’s raw materials and machinery equipment exported to Vietnam effectively boosted the Vietnamese manufacturing sector. Vietnam’s first urban light rail project, the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line which was built by a Chinese company, has served nearly 20 million passenger trips so far, making travels in Hanoi more convenient. China-Vietnam cross-border freight trains are up and running smoothly, the smart port program has been launched, and connectivity at land boundary ports has been advanced rapidly. The largest overseas photovoltaic industrial cluster that Chinese businesses have constructed to date is in Vietnam. This, together with wind power stations built by Chinese companies, has greatly helped with the transformation of energy use in Vietnam. Chinese companies also invested in and constructed many waste-to-energy plants in Hanoi, Can Tho and other cities.
We have brought our two peoples closer together through friendly exchanges. Travels between the two countries quickly rebounded this year. From January to October, Chinese tourists made more than 1.3 million visits to Vietnam. The Detian-Ban Gioc Waterfall cross-border tourism cooperation zone has started trial operation. Friendly exchanges have also achieved great success, including the friendly exchange between the national and local committees of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the Vietnam Fatherland Front, and the border residents gala. While some Chinese literature classics are household names in Vietnam, contemporary Chinese film and television productions are also loved by Vietnamese audience. Likewise, some Vietnamese pop songs are huge hits on Chinese social media, and Vietnamese singers who appeared in Chinese TV shows have won many fans in China. The small creeks of ever closer people-to-people interactions are converging into a mighty river of friendly ties between China and Vietnam.
We have always treated each other with sincerity. As two vocal advocates of multilateralism, both China and Vietnam value the importance of dialogue, consultation, and peaceful cooperation, and firmly uphold the basic norms of international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We support each other on issues involving our respective core interests and major concerns, and maintain close coordination in regional and international cooperation mechanisms. Vietnam is an important player in the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI). It supports the Global Security Initiative (GSI) and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI), and supports China’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
It has been 10 years since I first put forth the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness for China’s foreign policy toward neighboring countries. Building a community with a shared future for mankind should start from Asia. A popular Chinese song goes, “In our Asia, the roots of trees are linked; in our Asia, even clouds drift hand in hand.” The lyrics reflect the Chinese people’s basal perception of Asia as a community with a shared future. Asia is our common home. Neighboring countries cannot be moved away. Helping one’s neighbor is helping oneself, and good neighbors wish each other well. China is ready to better align its development with that of its neighbors, and work with them together to build a community with a shared future and deliver a better life to all. Vietnam’s friendship with China featuring “camaraderie plus brotherhood” is profound indeed. The CPC and the Chinese government always take it as a priority in our neighborhood diplomacy to develop relations with Vietnam. We sincerely hope that our two nations will always hold dear to the hearts our traditional friendship, always keep in mind our shared visions and missions, advance together along the socialist path, and steadily promote the building of a community with a shared future that carries strategic significance.
- We need to maintain strategic communication and reinforce the political foundation for a China-Vietnam community with a shared future. It is important that we keep strategic communication at high levels to ensure that the ship of China-Vietnam relations can break waves and keep making steady progress. We should firmly support each other in pursuing the socialist path suited to our respective national realities. We should coordinate our two priorities, i.e., development and security, and jointly act on the GDI, the GSI and the GCI. We need to deepen exchanges on the theory and practices of socialist development, fend off external risks and challenges together, and ensure steady and sustained progress in our socialist endeavors.
- We need to make good use of our complementary strengths to cement the cooperation foundation for a China-Vietnam community with a shared future. China is promoting a new development paradigm through high-quality opening up, and Vietnam is in the period of robust economic growth. We both should bring out the full potential in our geographical proximity and complementarity of industries. Among others, we should accelerate synergizing the BRI and the Two Corridors and One Economic Circle strategy, and broaden cooperation in such areas as connectivity, SOE reform, green energy and critical minerals, in a bid to better serve our respective national development and benefit our two peoples.
- We need to step up friendly exchanges to cement popular support for a China-Vietnam community with a shared future. A close neighbor is better than a distant relative. The people are the root, the lifeline and the source of strength of China-Vietnam relations. We should enhance friendly cooperation and exchanges, and make full use of counterpart exchange mechanisms such as central media outlets, think tanks, cultural and tourism departments, publishers, as well as radio, film and television institutions. We should deepen cooperation in Chinese language education, vocational education, sports and health. We should ensure the success of flagship events including the China-Vietnam People’s Forum and the China-Vietnam Youth Friendship Meeting with a view to increasing mutual understanding and affinity between our peoples, especially the younger generation. We should also have more direct flights between us. China will encourage more tourists to visit Vietnam to experience the unique charm of the Vietnamese culture and history.
- We need to properly manage differences and expand the consensus for a China-Vietnam community with a shared future. Both sides need to act on the common understandings reached by the leaders of our two parties and countries, properly manage differences on maritime issues, and jointly look for mutually acceptable solutions. Both should bear in mind the long-term well-being of our peoples, and stay committed to striving for mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. Both should vigorously promote cooperation, and make due efforts to build an enabling external environment for our respective development and to realize long-term stability and security in our region.
In today’s world, changes on a scale unseen in a century are unfolding at an accelerated pace. Hegemonism, unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise. Peace and development in the region are confronted with fairly grave challenges of instability and uncertainty. Standing on the historical foundation of a time-honored civilization, Asia has come to a critical juncture of development and revitalization. Its emerging markets and developing economies will remain the powerhouse of world economic growth.
History has proved time and again that a country or a region can only prosper when it follows the logic of history and keeps pace with the trend of the times. Asia’s future is in the hands of no one but Asians. Over the past decade, the Asian people have more and more realized that they can only keep abreast with the trend toward peace, development and progress by jointly acting on the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and promoting the Asian values of peace, cooperation, inclusiveness and integration.
They can only further unclog the regional economic circulation and upgrade it to deliver more benefit to Asians by staying committed to win-win cooperation, promoting the BRI under the principle of planning, building and benefiting together, and opening their door wider to the world. They can only build a peaceful, tranquil, prosperous, beautiful, amicable and harmonious home in Asia by vigorously working together for an Asian community with a shared future and making one country’s development part of the common development of all countries.
An ancient Chinese philosopher once observed, “Plants with strong roots grow well, and efforts on the right path ensure success.” No matter how drastically the world may evolve, China will always stay on the right path. Currently, we are striving to build China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through the Chinese path to modernization. We will continue to promote high-quality development and high-standard opening up, and move faster toward the new development paradigm. We will keep our neighborhood policy consistent and stable. We will remain committed to the guidelines of developing friendship and partnership with our neighbors and fostering an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood. At the same time, we will seek to add new substance to the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. We will bring more benefits to our neighbors through Chinese modernization, jointly move forward Asia’s modernization process, and provide new development opportunities for Vietnam and other Asian countries.
I believe that a China-Vietnam community with a shared future that carries strategic significance will draw more countries to the great cause of building an Asian community with a shared future as well as building a community with a shared future for mankind. It will lend more positive energy to our efforts for long-term development and good-neighborliness in Asia, and make greater contributions to peace and development of the world.