Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong has emphasised the need for China and Vietnam to enhance their friendship and sincere cooperation for mutual development, especially in the context of complicated global developments.

The two countries should consistently keep to the direction of friendship and collaboration, with an increase of strategic exchanges between Party, State and army leaders as well as the sharing of experience in Party and State management, Hong told the Quan doi Nhan dan (People’s Army) newspaper on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (January 18, 1950-2015).

“We also need to deepen our practical and mutually beneficial cooperation in order to create a new situation for mutual development and prosperity,” he stated.

China has been Vietnam’s largest trade partner for 11 consecutive years, while Vietnam has been China’s second biggest trade partner in the ASEAN community, he said, adding that the two sides see great potential to expand trade ties.

China is ready to join Vietnam ’s efforts to bring their trade to a more equitable figure with stable growth, said Hong, who expressed his hope that the two sides will work towards building border economic cooperation zones to further benefit their residents.

According to the ambassador, people-to-people exchange is also a focus of the bilateral ties moving forward. The two sides will continue organising activities, such as the China-Vietnam People’s Forum, friendship meetings between young people, and establishing cultural centres in the other country, to warm sentiments between the two peoples and add new vitality to the traditional friendship in the modern era.

Regarding defence cooperation, Hong described it as an important component of the relationship between China and Vietnam . He said the two armies have ceaselessly promoted their affiliation in recent years through the exchange of visits, strategic defence dialogues, land border management, personnel training, and joint patrols in the Tonkin Gulf.

He expressed his belief that with collaborative efforts, friendship and cooperation between the two armies will be expanded and deepened, becoming an important pillar in consolidating and developing the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Vietnam .

Highlighting the 65-year record of bilateral ties, Hong affirmed that the China-Vietnam traditional friendship is a valuable asset to both countries. The constant development of the relationship is a mutual aspiration of the two peoples and is in line with their basic interests, he said.

“Therefore, we must be responsible for preserving, strengthening and developing the bilateral friendship from this generation to the next,” he stressed.

The Chinese diplomat noted that as 2015 marks the 65th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations, China and Vietnam have been organising a series of activities celebrating the important occasion.

The two countries’ Party and State leaders have sent congratulatory messages to one another and embassies and friendship associations have hosted banquets and meetings. An exhibition was also opened in Hanoi to help develop mutual cultural exchange and understanding among the two peoples about the China-Vietnam friendship.-VNA