China's development is an opportunity for Vietnam: envoy
Published: Dec 27, 2023 11:07 PM
Minister of the Vietnamese Embassy in China Ninh Thanh Cong delivers a speech at the Vietnamese Embassy in Beijing on December 26, 2023. Photo: Xie Wenting/GT

Minister of the Vietnamese Embassy in China Ninh Thanh Cong delivers a speech at the Vietnamese Embassy in Beijing on December 26, 2023. Photo: Xie Wenting/GT

The development of China is an opportunity for Vietnam and the reform and opening-up in Vietnam is also an opportunity for China, Minister of the Vietnamese Embassy in China Ninh Thanh Cong told the Global Times on Tuesday.

He said that the complementarity between Vietnam and China is very strong, which is the basis for cooperation and mutual benefit. The diplomat also noted that Vietnam and China are in the process of resolving their maritime disputes through friendly negotiations, and the disputes in the South China Sea will not affect cooperation between the two countries.

On Tuesday, the Vietnamese Embassy in China held a meeting with Vietnamese and Chinese press agencies in Beijing. Ninh make the remarks during the event.

He stated that the year 2023 is very important for both China and Vietnam, as well as the two parties, and the year also marks the 15th anniversary of the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. With the joint efforts of both sides, the China-Vietnam relationship continues to maintain a stable development momentum and has achieved many important results.

According to data released by the General Administration of Customs in China on December 12, China and Vietnam have maintained good momentum in bilateral trade, with the total value of goods trade between the two countries reaching 1.45 trillion yuan ($202.9 billion) in the first 11 months of 2023, a year-on-year increase of 3.6 percent. The data also showed that the import and export of goods between China and Vietnam in November 2023 reached 161.92 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 12.5 percent, a record high for the month.

The Vietnamese diplomat said that despite difficulties and a decline in international trade in 2023, trade cooperation between China and Vietnam has remained relatively stable. "Many people did not expect that Vietnam has become China's fourth-largest trading partner, joining the US, South Korea, and Japan," Ninh said.

During the interview with the Global Times, he said that in 2024, Vietnam will promote further cooperation with China in areas such as people-to-people exchanges, cultural exchanges, and tourism, including hosting important events and promoting Vietnamese tourism in China. He also expressed hope that China will create convenient conditions for more inbound Vietnamese tourism.

He introduced that currently, the two countries have basically resumed all flights, with over 200 round-trip flights between the two countries per week. In the first 11 months of this year, Vietnam received 1.5 million Chinese tourists, and it is expected that the number of Chinese tourists traveling to Vietnam will continue to increase in the future.

"We hope that the number of people traveling to each other's countries will quickly recover to pre-2019 levels," he told the Global Times. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam received 6 million Chinese tourists, accounting for one-third of the total inbound tourists to Vietnam.

Ninh also talked about the recent resolution adopted by the United Nations to officially designate the Lunar New Year, known as the Spring Festival, as a UN floating holiday.

He expressed his delight at seeing the United Nations make this decision, as Vietnam shares many similarities with China culturally. He believes that this will provide more opportunities for international friends to learn about the Spring Festival, a traditional festival shared by both countries, and will also encourage more international tourists to visit Vietnam and China during the festive period.

When talking about the maritime disputes between China and Vietnam, Ninh told the Global Times that the two countries have reached a consensus on how to manage differences based on international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) enacted in 1982. They aim to maintain maritime peace and stability, actively promote consultations on maritime issues, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and strive to reach a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea on the basis of consensus through negotiations.

Ninh emphasized that maritime issues should not affect cooperation between the two countries and both sides should resolve differences through friendly negotiations.

He also stressed that the current China-Vietnam relationship is at its highest level in history, and there is still great potential and space to further promote cooperation between the two sides.

He mentioned that Vietnam supports building a global community of shared future and the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative. These concepts and initiatives aim to safeguard the common interests of all humanity and are committed to the cause of peace, justice, and progress for people in the world, reflecting the aspirations of people from all countries to build a better world.