HANOI - Vietnam sincerely wishes China success in its development cause and wants it to play an active role in safeguarding peace and stability as well as promoting prosperity in Asia and around the globe, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has said.
In an article penned on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both nations, he emphasises that Vietnam and China are neighbours that have enjoyed time-honoured friendship.
He recalls that 65 years ago, on January 18, 1950, the People's Republic of China became the first country in the world to establish diplomatic ties with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, creating a historical milestone in the long-standing relationship between the two countries.
"Over the past 65 years, the friendship between the two countries, nurtured by President Ho Chi Minh and President Mao Zedong together with generations of the two countries' leaders, has become a valuable asset of both nations.
"The years that the two Parties, States and peoples supported and assisted each other in their respective revolutionary causes have left deep impressions and evoked warm sentiments in the people of both countries. The Vietnamese Party, State and people always treasure and are grateful for the earnest assistance the Chinese Party, Government and people as well as international friends from all continents have given Vietnam in the cause of national liberation and reunification," Minh says in his article.
The Deputy PM affirms that bilateral relations have grown over time despite ups and downs, developing particularly rapidly following normalisation of relations in 1991.
Aware of the importance of a stable and friendly relationship between the two neighbouring socialist countries, high-ranking leaders of both sides have maintained regular contacts and exchanges and continuously fostered frameworks of the bilateral relationship.
The two countries have agreed to develop relations under the principles of "friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive co-operation, long-term stability and looking toward the future" and become "good neighbours, good friends, good comrades and good partners".
In particular, since the establishment of a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in 2008, bilateral relations expanded and deepened in all realms.
The Deputy PM notes that very few partners of Vietnam have as many mechanisms for exchange and extensive co-operation between their Parties, Governments, National Assemblies as well as socio-political organisations and localities as China.
When the two countries normalised relations in 1991, few would have imagined that just 23 years later, two-way trade would increase by more than 1,500 times (over US$55 billion in 2014 from US$32 million in 1991).
China's investment in Vietnam has risen from zero to approximately US$8 billion in total registered capital in 2014, putting China in 9th place among 101 nations and territories investing in Viet Nam.
The two countries have also recorded encouraging achievements in defence, security, education, culture, sports, health and science-technology cooperation.
More than 13,000 Vietnamese students are studying in China and thousands of Chinese students are doing the same in Vietnam.
Friendship exchanges between the two nations, especially in border areas and among young people, are held regularly on a large scale, contributing to enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples.
Deputy PM Minh points out that in less than 20 years after the normalisation of relations, the two countries have successfully solved two of three complicated issues left by history - the completion of land border demarcation and marker planting, and the delimitation of the Gulf of Tonkin.
He says that the East Sea issue requires both countries to make patient efforts to deal with difficulties.
Recent developments in these waters have only reinforced the need to respect legitimate interests and address disputes via peaceful means on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The Deputy PM reiterates that in the context of complicated developments in regional and global situation, the Parties and States of both Vietnam and China are facing new opportunities and challenges in national renovation, door-opening reform and development.
Vietnam is exerting efforts towards the goal of national industrialisation and modernisation by 2020, while China is pushing ahead with the objective of building an all-round well-off society by the same year.
"More than ever, the two sides need a peaceful and stable environment to serve their respective development strategies. Vietnam sincerely hopes China will thrive and play an active role in protecting peace, stability and promoting prosperity in Asia and around the globe as a whole," he says.
The Deputy PM says that 2015 - the year marking the 65th founding anniversary of Vietnam -China diplomatic ties - is a great occasion for both sides to look back on the past journey while looking forward to a new course for bilateral relations.
"The Vietnamese Party, State and people consistently treasure the friendship, equal and win-win co-operation with China and sincerely wish that the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership will grow in a deep, stable and sustainable manner amidst a range of instabilities in many regions in the world and when all eyes are on Asia with a lot of expectations."
In this spirit, the two countries should promote result-oriented co-operation and enhance political trust between the two Parties and States in 2015 and the years after, Minh says, adding that the two countries' ministries, sectors and localities need to jointly implement effectively the action programme on Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership.
This will meet the aspiration and interests of the two peoples, he says.
He says in the article that to consolidate the foundation of bilateral ties, the two countries need to carry out activities to strengthen the friendly sentiments between the two peoples, particularly among the youth.
In addition, the two sides should effectively carry out important common perception reached by leaders of the two Parties and States as well as the Vietnam-China agreement on the basic principles for addressing maritime issues, while promoting negotiation mechanisms on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UNCLOS, the full implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards an early finalisation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
This will contribute to furthering bilateral relations and ensure peace, stability, navigation and aviation safety and security in the East Sea and the region.
He stresses that while the regional and global situation has and will see a lot of changes compared to the time Vietnam and China established diplomatic ties 65 years ago, one thing will never change: peace, stability and development will remain the aspiration and common interest of both nations.
"Friendly co-operation is the mission of the Parties, States and peoples of the two countries. The future of each country as well as peace, stability and prosperity in the region calls for a healthy and stable development of Vietnam-China relations," the Deputy PM concludes.