China’s Xi meets with Vietnamese prime minister to strengthen ties
December 14, 2023 | by b1og.net
Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Vietnam is aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries after Vietnam recently elevated its relationships with Japan and the United States. During his visit, Xi met with Vietnam’s prime minister, the head of the National Assembly, and other key figures in the Vietnamese government. The discussions focused on deepening cooperation in various areas, including legislation, and both sides expressed a commitment to building a “community with a shared future.” Despite their robust trade relationship, Vietnam and China have differences, particularly regarding territorial claims in the South China Sea. The visit also included agreements on prisoner exchange and cooperation on railway projects. Overall, Xi’s visit was seen as an important step in maintaining and enhancing diplomatic relations between China and Vietnam.
Meeting between Xi Jinping and Vietnamese Prime Minister
On the second day of his visit to Vietnam, Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in an effort to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. This meeting was significant as it came after Vietnam recently elevated its ties with Japan and the United States, indicating the country’s desire to maintain positive relations with multiple nations.
Discussion on strengthening cooperation in various fields
During the meeting, Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh discussed the importance of strengthening cooperation between China and Vietnam in various fields. This includes areas such as telecommunications, cross-party exchange, and legislation. Both leaders emphasized the need for collaboration to contribute to the building of a “community with a shared future.”
Renewal of agreements on exchange of prisoners and joint patrol of the Gulf of Tonkin
As a sign of mutual cooperation, Vietnam and China agreed to exchange prisoners, although specific details about this agreement were not made public. Additionally, the two countries renewed an expired agreement from 2020 to jointly patrol the Gulf of Tonkin. This body of water lies between China’s Hainan province and Vietnam’s northeastern coast, and maintaining security in this area is essential for both nations.
Signed agreement on railway project cooperation
One of the highlights of the meeting was the signing of an agreement on railway project cooperation. This agreement showcases the commitment of both China and Vietnam to enhancing connectivity between the two countries through the development of railway infrastructure. This project has the potential to bring significant benefits to both nations, particularly in terms of improving transportation and facilitating trade.
Importance of the China-Vietnam relationship
The relationship between China and Vietnam holds immense importance for both countries. China has been Vietnam’s largest trading partner for several years, with a bilateral trade turnover of $175.6 billion in 2022. This trade relationship is crucial for Vietnam’s economy, as imports from China, including essential inputs for the manufacturing sector, make up 67% of Vietnam’s imports, according to Vietnam customs data.
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea
While China and Vietnam enjoy a strong trade relationship, there are also significant points of contention, particularly regarding territorial disputes in the South China Sea. China claims almost the entire strategic waterway, but countries like the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan have also asserted their separate claims. These disputes have put the United States and China on a collision course, as the U.S. has expressed support for its allies in the region.
China’s diplomatic concession to Vietnam
In a significant diplomatic move, Vietnam’s designation of both the United States and Japan as “comprehensive strategic partners” has been seen as a concession to China. In response, Xi Jinping referred to the need to work towards a “community with a shared future” during his meetings in Vietnam. This shows that while Vietnam is strengthening ties with other countries, it is also working towards maintaining a positive relationship with China.
Recent upgrade of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the United States and Japan
Vietnam’s recent upgrade of diplomatic ties with the United States and Japan has attracted attention and raised expectations surrounding Xi Jinping’s visit to Hanoi. By designating these two countries as comprehensive strategic partners, Vietnam has solidified its relationships with major powers in the region. China’s response to this is of great interest, as it shows the changing dynamics in the geopolitical landscape of Southeast Asia.
Reaction and analysis of the meeting
Nguyen Khac Giang, a visiting fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, provides an interesting perspective on Vietnam’s concession to China. He suggests that Vietnam’s act of using the phrase “community with a shared future” shouldn’t be interpreted as full support for China-led political initiatives. Instead, it is a delicate act of hedging, especially after Vietnam’s recent upgrade in relations with the United States and Japan. Overall, the reaction to Xi Jinping’s visit to Vietnam has been a mix of curiosity and anticipation.
Meeting with the head of Vietnam’s National Assembly
During his visit to Vietnam, Xi Jinping also met with the head of Vietnam’s National Assembly, Vuong Dinh Hue. The focus of this meeting was on strengthening cooperation and legislation between China and Vietnam. Both leaders referenced the concept of a “community with a shared future” during their discussions, highlighting the importance of working together towards common goals.
Xi Jinping’s meeting with young Vietnamese and Chinese scholars
As part of his visit to Vietnam, Xi Jinping also met with young Vietnamese and Chinese scholars. This meeting served as a platform for academic and intellectual exchange between the two countries. Such exchanges are crucial for fostering mutual understanding and collaboration, as they provide an opportunity for scholars to share their research and perspectives on various issues of mutual interest.
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea have long been a point of contention between China, Vietnam, and other countries in the region. China claims sovereignty over almost the entire strategic waterway, which has led to conflicting claims by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan. The resolution of these disputes is crucial for maintaining regional stability and ensuring peaceful coexistence among nations.
Cooperation in law enforcement and security issues
One area of cooperation between China and Vietnam is in law enforcement and security issues. The renewal of the agreement on the joint patrol of the Gulf of Tonkin highlights the importance of collaboration in maintaining security and stability in the region. By working together on law enforcement efforts, both countries can address common security challenges and promote peace in the surrounding waters.
Importance of joint efforts to maintain stability in the region
The joint efforts of China and Vietnam to maintain stability in the region are crucial for the well-being of both nations. By renewing agreements on the exchange of prisoners and joint patrol of the Gulf of Tonkin, China and Vietnam demonstrate their commitment to addressing shared security concerns. This cooperation enhances trust and strengthens the foundation for peaceful coexistence and cooperation in the region.
Enhanced connectivity between China and Vietnam
The signed agreement on railway project cooperation between China and Vietnam is an essential step towards enhancing connectivity between the two nations. Improved transportation links through railway infrastructure will facilitate the movement of goods and people, thereby boosting trade and economic development. This project has the potential to bring mutual benefits in terms of economic growth and infrastructure development.
Potential benefits for infrastructure development
The railway project cooperation between China and Vietnam holds significant promise for infrastructure development. By investing in railway infrastructure, both countries can expand their transportation networks and improve connectivity within and beyond their borders. This investment can stimulate economic growth, create job opportunities, and enhance regional integration. Overall, the railway project cooperation between China and Vietnam has the potential to transform the physical infrastructure landscape of both countries.