The Party, the Government and the people of Vietnam are wholly committed to lifting the country’s comprehensive strategic partnership with China to a new high, considering it a top and consistent long-term priority, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to China Nguyen Van Tho.

The diplomat made the remarks during a January 14 press conference held by the Vietnamese Embassy in China to mark the 65th anniversary of Vietnam-China diplomatic ties (January 18, 1950-2015).

He highlighted 2015 as a milestone to elevate the traditional friendship and current comprehensive strategic cooperation relations between the two countries.

China, as a big neighbour of Vietnam and a socialist nation, has always been considered the most important partner of Vietnam, despite changes in the regional and international situation and highs and lows in bilateral ties, Tho affirmed.

He also expressed hope that China sees its own opportunities in Vietnam’s stability and prosperity.

The ambassador called for enhanced high-level contacts and visits, as well as exchanges between ministries, localities, and the young generations of the two sides, to further develop mutual political and strategic trust.

He urged for more efforts to continue boosting bilateral trade while working to reduce Vietnam’s huge surplus import from China, and the early establishment of working groups on infrastructure and monetary issues in line with the agreement of the two countries’ leaders. He also suggested more policies to promote tourism and facilitate travelling between the two countries.

Regarding the Bien Dong (East Sea) issue, Ambassador Tho underlined the need for maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and aviation, keeping the situation under control, exercising the utmost restraint, and avoiding any act that can further complicate the situation and affect the relations between the two countries while seeking a sustainable and long term measure.

According to him, it is essential to settle the dispute through peaceful means on the basis of respecting mutual legitimate interests and abiding by international laws, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), while working toward finalising a legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) as soon as possible.

The ambassador also hailed the media’s role in contributing to the friendship and mutual understanding between people in the two nations, especially among young generations.-VNA