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President's visit to Hanoi paves way for more outcomes in pragmatic cooperation
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President's visit to Hanoi paves way for more outcomes in pragmatic cooperation

President Xi Jinping's tightly scheduled state visit to Hanoi has taken bilateral ties to an unprecedented height, paving the way for a wider range of outcomes in pragmatic cooperation and setting the stage for more robust people-to-people ties, according to officials and analysts.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, reached key consensuses in talks during the visit with Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, and Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong.

At the conclusion of the trip, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the highlight of the visit was "the major historic decision" by the top leadership of both parties and nations to build a China-Vietnam community with a shared future that carries strategic significance.

The decision was the most significant political outcome reached by both nations, representing the culmination and inevitable choice after 15 years of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, Wang said, adding that the vision aligns with the fundamental interests of both countries and their peoples.

"China-Vietnam relations have thus entered a new stage, marked by clear objectives and infused with new momentum," he said.

When Xi bid farewell to Trong on Wednesday, the top leader of the CPV congratulated Xi on having made a visit that was "completely successful". In addition to the signing of dozens of bilateral cooperation agreements during the visit, mutual understanding and trust were enhanced, which was even more important, Trong said.

The trip was also lauded for having led to a buildup in pragmatic cooperation between the two neighboring countries, which also have strong economic and trade links.

China has long been Vietnam's largest trading partner, while Vietnam is China's largest trading partner within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and fourth-largest trading partner globally.

According to a joint statement released by the two nations, Beijing and Hanoi will promote the connectivity of cross-border standard gauge railways and explore advancement of the construction of a standard gauge railway that will connect the Vietnamese cities of Lao Cai, Hanoi and Haiphong.

The two nations will continue to closely coordinate efforts to promote cooperation on land, air and rail transportation and strengthen logistics cooperation, the statement said.

China will also promote access procedures for Vietnamese agricultural produce, according to the statement.

Song Qingrun, a professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University's School of Asian Studies, said the two nations are set to embrace a new window of opportunity for pragmatic cooperation.

"Together, the two countries will build a system of stable and unimpeded industrial and supply chains, strengthen cooperation in areas such as the digital economy and green development, and promote economic growth and transformation," he said.

Expediting efforts to build smart ports on the China-Vietnam border will significantly facilitate the flow of goods and people and serve as a strong impetus for economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, he added.

Song also said the development of smart ports will enable the development of an international logistics corridor connecting China with ASEAN economies, which will offer shorter transit times, higher efficiency, better services and more competitive prices.

In addition, Song highlighted the commitment from Beijing and Hanoi to actively explore and implement maritime cooperation projects and to jointly promote maritime development.

According to the joint statement, leaders of the two countries held an in-depth and candid exchange of views on maritime issues, stressing the need to better manage and actively resolve maritime disputes, in order to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea and the region.

Fostering stronger public support for China-Vietnam friendship was high on Xi's agenda during the trip, as he and Trong jointly met with representatives of youth and friends from both countries.

The two general secretaries underscored that the foundation of the China-Vietnam friendship lies in the people, and its future lies in the youth.

He Yun, an associate professor at the School of Public Policy of Hunan University, who attended the event, said she expects greater progress in people-to-people exchanges, especially by the younger generation, between the two neighboring countries, which share similar traditional cultures. "More and more Chinese scholars are visiting Vietnam for academic exchanges," she said.

Nguyen Thi Minh, a lecturer at the University of Languages and International Studies at Vietnam National University, Hanoi, said there is growing interest among Vietnamese youths in China's language and culture.

The enhancing of Vietnam's ties with China will entail new opportunities for more students, she added.

According to Foreign Minister Wang, other highlights of the visit were the events attended by Xi's wife, Peng Liyuan, during which she, together with the wives of the Vietnamese hosts, visited the Vietnamese Women's Museum and Vietnam National University, Hanoi.

She encouraged young students to study Chinese diligently, gain a better understanding of China, become ambassadors for promoting China-Vietnam ties, and ensure the friendship passed on from generation to generation.

Peng's charm diplomacy has fully demonstrated a trustworthy, lovable and admirable image of China, playing a unique and crucial role in bridging the emotional bonds between the two peoples, Wang said.

China DailyGu Yetao

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