Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, will attend the 25th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in the city of Da Nang, Vietnam, from Friday to Saturday and pay a state visit to Vietnam. Analysts believe that Xi's first overseas visit since the 19th CPC National Congress will be significant for the relationship between China and Vietnam.
Vietnam and China have been good neighbors, friends, comrades and partners in the path toward national independence and people's well-being. During the two nations' fight for independence in the 1940s, Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh said that China and Vietnam were like lips and teeth, and the teeth would be cold without lips. In 1966, Chairman Mao Zedong also announced that 700 million Chinese people were the staunch supporters of Vietnam and the broad territory of China could be relied on to back Vietnam. During Vietnam's fight against France and the US, China sent many experts to help and support them. In addition to the close neighboring ties, the unity of China and Vietnam in combating invaders has fostered our relationship as comrades and brothers.
In recent years, the relationship between China and Vietnam has thrived in many fields. The volume of bilateral trade has increased from $9.9 billion in 2006 to nearly $100 billion in 2016, with around $300 million in trade every day. In tourism, 2.2 million Vietnamese tourists traveled to China in 2016 and more than 2.7 million Chinese traveled to Vietnam. The number of Chinese travelers is expected to increase to 4 million in 2017. Twenty-three cities in China have established direct flights to Vietnam and there are more than 120 flights between the two countries every week.
In education, more than 10,000 Vietnamese students come to study in China every year and about 3,000 Chinese students go to Vietnam.
In diplomacy, the communications between the two countries and their leaders are continuous. In January and May, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang visited China successively. On October 30, Xi met Hoang Binh Quan, special envoy of Nguyen and head of the Commission for External Relations of the CPV Central Committee. Hoang also carried messages and congratulations from Nguyen to Xi.
For now, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, and the construction and innovation of socialism in Vietnam has also arrived at a critical period. Developing the relationship between China and Vietnam also needs us to remain true to our original aspirations and keep our mission firmly in mind. The original aspiration is the traditional friendship established and maintained by leaders of the older generation in the two parties. The mission is the belief and responsibility shared by the two parties. China and Vietnam are important neighbors and trade partners with huge potential for cooperation.
As a member of the CPV and a representative of the Vietnamese media, I will try my best as a reporter working in China to contribute to the reporting of the two countries. Meanwhile, I hope that China and Vietnam will value and use the opportunities to connect to the bilateral development strategy, promote cooperation in production capacity and have complementary advantages.
The two countries should strengthen their cooperation in important fields, like investment, trade, tourism and construction of infrastructure to push the bilateral pragmatic cooperation to a higher stage and to enter a new era.