CHINA / DIPLOMACY
Vietnam's communist party chief to be first foreign leader to visit China after key CPC congress, highlights priority of bilateral ties
Published: Oct 25, 2022 10:15 PM
A Vietnamese pupil holds Vietnamese and Chinese national flags. Photo: VCG

A Vietnamese pupil holds Vietnamese and Chinese national flags. Photo: VCG


General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong will be the first foreign leader to pay an official visit to China by invitation after the conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Considering that China and Vietnam are both socialist countries under the leadership of communist parties, they share common interests in ideology and political security, and they are more integrated in terms of economy, the visit is expected to highlight the two countries' confidence and achievement of unswervingly upholding the leadership of the communist party, showcase their determination of adhering to the socialist road, thus further boosting ties between the two parties and the two countries, experts said.

Hu Zhaoming, spokesperson for the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, announced on Tuesday that General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong will pay an official visit to China from October 30 to November 2 at the invitation of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and Chinese president.

The visit came after the 20th CPC National Congress came to a successful conclusion on Saturday, the new central leadership of the CPC has been elected and Xi Jinping was unanimously elected general secretary of the 20th CPC Central Committee at the committee's first plenary session held on Sunday. He was also named chairman of the CPC Central Military Commission (CMC). The Party of over 96 million members and the Chinese people it leads embark on a new journey in China's modernization drive.

Nguyen Phu Trong becoming the first overseas leader to visit China shows the importance of ties between China and Vietnam as well as those between the CPC and CPV, which is of significant meaning, Zhuang Guotu, head of Xiamen University's Southeast Asian Studies Center, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Back in November 2017, Xi paid a state visit to Vietnam. That was Xi's first overseas trip on the heels of the 19th National Congress of the CPC held in October 2017, which reflected the irreplaceable importance of the China-Vietnam relations.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, Nguyen Phu Trong on Sunday offered congratulations to Xi on his election as General Secretary of the 20th CPC Central Committee. In his message, the Vietnamese leader also congratulated the 20th CPC National Congress on its success. 

The relationship between the CPC and the CPV has always guided and led the direction of the development of China-Vietnam ties. Exchanges by the CPC-CPV leaders are a unique and crucial characteristic of the development of China-Vietnam ties, which also guarantees that such development is always on the right track despite their differences over the South China Sea issue, Zhuang said.

Although the US is trying to woo Vietnam and use the South China Sea issue to drive a wedge between China and Vietnam, the upcoming visit by Nguyen Phu Trong to China is anticipated to help manage differences to avoid risks over the South China Sea, and further push forward bilateral ties. Also, the US' attempts to drive a wedge between China and Vietnam will be in vain, Zhuang said.

The visit is also expected to boost the two countries' economic cooperation.

It is our consistent position to develop China-Vietnam economic cooperation, said Bai Ming, deputy director of the International Market Research Institute at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, who hopes through the potential meeting between the two leaders, that economic cooperation between the two countries can reach a higher level.

China continues to be Vietnam's biggest trade partner despite the negative impact brought about by the severe COVID-19 pandemic, which reflects how these two countries value their relationship and help each other, especially in times of hardship, the expert noted. Data showed that Vietnam's imports from China rose 30 percent to reach $110 billion in 2021.

China continues to adhere to reform and opening-up and has gained achievements and overcome difficulties in its social and economic development, which can provide valuable experience to Vietnam, and the Vietnamese leader's visit will create a perfect stage for the two countries to exchange those experiences and learn from each other, Zhuang said.

In addition, as both countries are members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the mega regional free trade deal has opened a broader space for economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

The upcoming visit is also expected to promote the cohesion and influence of the RCEP, Zhuang noted.