International desk: Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, arrived in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on Sunday for a state visit to the southeast Asian country.
It is Xi’s second visit to Vietnam as China’s head of state and top CPC leader. Before flying to Hanoi, Xi concluded a busy two-day stay in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang, where he attended the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
During his stay in Hanoi, Xi will hold talks with General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong and meet with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and the Chairperson of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
The visit, which comes on the heels of the 19th CPC National Congress, is also reciprocal for previous visits to China by Trong and Quang earlier this year. Trong made a four-day official visit to China in January, while Quang paid a state visit to China in May and attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.
“The leaders of the two countries will have in-depth talks on promoting the relations between the two countries under the new circumstances, “said Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong. In a signed article published on Nov. 9 on Nhan Dan, the official newspaper of the CPV, Xi said China and Vietnam need, more than ever, to work in joint efforts in their pursuit of dreams of national strength and prosperity.
The two countries have made tangible progress on the strategic alignment of their development initiatives — China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Vietnam’s “Two Corridors and One Economic Circle” plan. Bilateral trade has also seen a rapid growth in the past few years. Statistics show that China has been Vietnam’s biggest trading partner for 13 consecutive years, while Vietnam is China’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia.
In 2016, bilateral trade volume reached 98.23 billion U.S. dollars. The figure is expected to reach 100 billion dollars by the end of this year, according to Hong. China invested a total of 823.6 million dollars in Vietnam in the first quarter of 2017, becoming the third largest foreign direct investor of the country.
“It is of great significance for the leaders of the two countries to strengthen the top-level design and jointly work on the blueprint of the future development,” the Chinese ambassador told Xinhua. Vietnam is the first leg of Xi’s two-nation Asia tour, which will also take him to Laos on Monday. Xinhua