Chinese president wraps up Vietnam visit

By Giang Huy, Ba Do   November 13, 2017 | 04:39 pm GMT+7

President Xi Jinping said both countries should consider their relationship from a strategic, long-term perspective.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) takes a walk with Vietnam's Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong during a visit to Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House in Hanoi on Monday, the last day of Xi’s two-day state visit to Vietnam.

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Xi and Trong on Sunday witnessed the signing of 12 cooperative agreements in infrastructure, border economic cooperation zones, e-commerce, healthcare, energy, culture, banking and defense. The agreements also included a memorandum of understanding to promote the connection between the "Two corridors, one economic belt" project and the "Belt and Road" initiative.

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The duo feed fish in the gardens of the Presidential Palace. This is the second state visit Xi has made to Vietnam following the first in 2015.

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At 10.30 a.m., Xi had a conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.

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Quang said he highly appreciated that Xi had chosen Vietnam as his first overseas destination after being granted another five years as China’s Party chief at the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress in October. Xi’s visit follows Quang and Trong’s trips to Beijing earlier this year.

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Xi and Quang shake hands after finishing the meeting. Xi then attended a lunch hosted by Quang at the Presidential Palace.

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Xi’s convoy arrives at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Monday afternoon.

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Xi waves goodbye before getting on the plane at 2 p.m. for a state visit to Laos.

Chinese leader Xi Jingpin arrived in Hanoi on Sunday afternoon.

At a meeting with Xi the same day, Vietnam's Party chief Trong emphasized the importance and benefits of maintaining peace and stability and building trust in the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea

He called for all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from taking action that could complicate the situation or escalate disputes. All sides need to respect each other's legal and legitimate interests and focus on maintaining peace and stability in the region, he said.

Trong said that both Vietnam and China should fully and effectively implement the Vietnam-China Agreement on Basic Principles Guiding the Settlement of Maritime Issues and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. He also called for an early initiation of substantive negotiations to develop the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and called for both countries to settle disputes through cooperation and in accordance with international law.

Additionally, he proposed researching potential cooperation between ASEAN and China in less sensitive maritime areas such as fishing and environmental protection in order to build trust and maintain long-term peace and stability in the region.

In reply, Xi said China always attaches great importance to consolidating and developing the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

The Chinese president agreed with the directions proposed by Trong and said that both countries should consider their relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective.

China is one of the biggest foreign investors in Vietnam and its largest trade partner. Bilateral trade value reached $72 billion last year, with Vietnam's trade deficit hitting $28 billion.

The northern neighbor is also Vietnam's biggest tourism market. Official data showed that more than 3.2 million Chinese visited Vietnam in the first 10 months this year, up 45 percent from a year ago and accounting for nearly a third of all foreign arrivals.