Friendship and cooperation remain a main trend in the Vietnam-China relationship, which has developed fruitfully in the recent years, said Vietnamese Ambassador to China Nguyen Van Tho.

Tho made the comment in an interview granted to the Xinhua News Agency and the China Central Television (CCTV) on the occasion of Vietnam’s 66 th National Day (Sept. 2) and on the threshold of the 5 th meeting of the Steering Committee for Vietnam-China Bilateral Cooperation.

The diplomat talked about Vietnam ’s outstanding renewal achievements, major policies adopted at the 11 th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), the overview of Vietnam-China relations and measures to boost the comprehensive cooperation between the two nations in the years to come.

Tho said the 11 th National Congress of the CPV affirmed that Vietnam will consistently continue its foreign policy of independence, peace, cooperation and development; multilateralisation and diversification of relations; active and proactive international integration; and being a friend, a reliable partner and a responsible member of the international community.

The ambassador noted with pleasure that cooperative relations between the two countries have seen important achievements in all fields, especially in politics, economics, trade, culture, education, training, security and defence.

Two-way trade between reached nearly 30 billion USD in 2010 and 18 billion USD in the first half of this year, up 40.9 percent over the same period last year, he said, adding that China remained Vietnam ’s leading trade partner.

Regarding cultural and educational cooperation, Tho said more than 13,000 Vietnamese students are now studying at Chinese universities and they are considered as an important bridge to enhance the friendship and mutual understanding between the two nations.

The Vietnam-China friendship, founded by President Ho Chi Minh and President Mao Zedong and fostered by generations of Vietnamese and Chinese leaders and people, is valuable assets of the Vietnamese and Chinese Parties, States and peoples and should be preserved, he said.

“The Party, Government and people of Vietnam consistently attach great importance to the friendly neighbourliness and comprehensive cooperation with the Party, Government and people of China , considering it as a top priority in Vietnam ’s foreign policy,” Tho said.

To step up the stable development of bilateral ties, the ambassador said the two sides need to make concerted efforts based on the top Vietnamese and Chinese leaders’ common perception on the building of the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

The two sides should enhance mutual trust in terms of politics by increasing visits by leaders of the two countries; boost cooperation in economics, trade, investment and tourism; and step up exchanges and cooperation between the Parties and mass organisations, ministries and agencies, and localities of the two countries.

Vietnam and China also need to seek new approaches to dealing with the existing and newly-arising differences in bilateral ties, as there remained divergences left from history, such as the East Sea issue.

However, the results and valuable experience in delimiting the Tonkin Gulf and the land border will serve as the important foundation for the two sides to continue discussing and solving the East Sea issue, the ambassador stressed./.