The Party, Government and people of Vietnam always attach importance to developing and expanding the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with the Chinese Party, Government and people.

The statement was delivered by Ambassador Nguyen Van Tho at a regular New Year press conference organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in China in Beijing on Jan. 16.

The conference aims to update the local press circle on Vietnam ’s foreign policies and the developments in the traditional friendship between Vietnam and China .

Ambassador Tho briefed the Chinese press on Vietnam ’s major socio-economic achievements in 2011 with highlights being the 11 th Party National Congress and the election of the 13 th National Assembly.

Despite the turmoil in the region and the world last year, the Vietnamese Government has put forth a wide range of effective measures to stabilise the macro economy, curb inflation and ensure social welfare, Tho said.

Last year, Vietnam ’s GDP grew at 5.9 percent and inflation was kept at 18 percent, the diplomat added.

Mentioning the Vietnam-China ties, the ambassador said over the past 62 years since the establishment of their diplomatic ties, the two countries have always maintained the generally friendly diplomatic ties despite ups and downs, matching the aspiration and fundamental interest of their people.

The two countries’ relations last year continued to see positive steps in all areas from economics to political affairs and national defence, Tho noted.

The official visit to China by Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and the Vietnam visit by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping played an important role in elevating the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries to a new height, Tho said.

China has been Vietnam ’s largest trade partner for seven consecutive years with two-way trade exceeding 40 billion USD in 2011, representing a year-on-year increase of 30 percent.

Regarding disputes between the two countries, Ambassador Tho underlined joint efforts in seeking suitable solutions and in maintaining peace, stability and cooperation in the region.

In the process of seeking fundamental and long-term solutions to the sea issue, Vietnam and China will discuss transitional and temporary measures which do not harm each side’s stance and policies in the spirit of mutual respect, equal treatment and mutual benefit, Tho said.

The two sides will also conduct research and discussion regarding mutual development on the basis of legal regulation and principles of international laws, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, according to the ambassador./.