Chinese leader treated to extravagant welcome at Hanoi's Presidential Palace

By Staff reporters   November 12, 2017 | 05:08 pm GMT+7
Chinese leader treated to extravagant welcome at Hanoi's Presidential Palace
China's President and Party chief Xi Jinping and Vietnamese Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong wave during an official ceremony to welcome Xi to Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress

President Xi's arrival was accompanied by a gun salute and military parade.

A military parade, gun salute and flag ceremony were held to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping to an official reception in Hanoi on Sunday afternoon

Xi landed in the capital before noon to start a two-day state visit.

He attended the opening of the Vietnam-China Friendship Palace in the afternoon and is scheduled to sit down to a state dinner with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang later.

Vietnam is Xi’s first overseas destination after he was granted another five years as China’s Party General Secretary at the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress in October. His visit follows Quang and Trong’s trips to Beijing earlier this year.

The leaders of the two countries will hold in-depth talks to promote relations between the two countries in the current climate, said Chinese ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong.

Trade between Vietnam and China has seen rapid growth in recent years. Statistics show that China has been Vietnam's biggest trade partner for 13 consecutive years, while Vietnam is China's largest trade partner in Southeast Asia.

In 2016, bilateral trade value reached $98.23 billion, and that figure is expected to reach $100 billion by the end of this year, according to Hong, as cited by Reuters.

China invested a total of $823.6 million in Vietnam in the first quarter of 2017, becoming the country's third largest foreign direct investor. It is of great significance for the leaders of the two countries to strengthen the top-level design and jointly work on the blueprint of the future development, the Chinese ambassador said.

Vietnam is the first leg of Xi's two-nation Asia tour, which will also take him to Laos on Monday.

Vietnamese Party chief Trong hosted the reception ceremony in Hanoi.

More than 200 flag-waving students lined the streets alongside the police and military parade as the Chinese leader arrived at Vietnam’s Presidential Palace.

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Photos by VnExpress/Trong Giap, Giang Huy