China Daily

Beijing and Hanoi united in their desire to ensure stable regional environment

President Xi Jinping’s meeting with visiting Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Beijing on Wednesday again sent a strong message to the outside world that Beijing and Hanoi are intent on consolidating their unity and friendship.

Chinh is on a four-day working visit to China starting Monday, and his itinerary includes attending the 15th Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, Liaoning province. His visit is the latest in a series of recent high-level exchanges between the two neighbors, and underscores their mutual efforts to continuously inject fresh vitality into bilateral ties and stand together in the face of the complex and challenging global situation.

In December last year, during a visit to Hanoi, President Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, announced the building of a China-Vietnam community with a shared future, elevating bilateral ties to a new stage.

Since then, relations between the two parties and the two peoples have taken big strides in many fields. With their economies highly complementary, the two countries also have broad prospects for expanding their economic and trade cooperation, not least the digital economy, so as to bring more tangible benefits to the two peoples.

It is also commendable that Hanoi, deeming its relations with Beijing as the top priority and a strategic choice in its foreign policy, has consistently supported China’s position on the Taiwan question and firmly adheres to the one-China principle and opposes the politicization of economic, trade and sci-tech issues.

Against the backdrop of the profoundly changing international landscape, stable and robust China-Vietnam ties not only cater to the modernization needs of the two socialist countries but also help contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the region and beyond.

Sharing similar views on regional and global issues, the two countries have everything to gain from setting a good example in properly handling their differences and jointly safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea and the region at large. This is especially true given the current rising tensions in the waters because of the Philippines’ provocative antics with the encouragement of the United States.

Needless to say Vietnam occupies a special niche in the US playbook in the Asia-Pacific. Thanks to its special geopolitical position in Southeast Asia and its close ties with big countries including China and Russia, the country has long been perceived by Washington to be of strategic importance.

That may well explain why the US, despite old grudges stemming from the Vietnam War, has increasingly tried to solicit Vietnam as a participant in its geopolitical maneuvering. Washington has repeatedly tried to cozy up to Hanoi in recent years in the hope that Vietnam will act as a US bridgehead in its geopolitical confrontation with China.

But by trying to use the maritime disputes in the region to its advantage and making waves over them, the US is damaging the very fabric of peace and stability in the South China Sea and the region at large. The US’ attempts to manipulate the South China Sea disputes for its own ends pose a threat to not only China’s external environment, but also that of other countries in the region, Vietnam included.

Hence, it is crucial that Beijing and Hanoi join hands to actively promote mutually beneficial cooperation at sea, prevent external forces from meddling in the South China Sea issue and help accelerate regional efforts to make it a sea of peace and cooperation for all. MDT/AP

Editorial, China Daily

Categories China Daily Opinion