The forthcoming visit to China by Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on April 7-10 holds significant meaning to Vietnam-China diplomatic ties, former Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Qi Jianguo said in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Beijing.

Qi Jianguo, who is also Vice President of the China-Vietnam Friendship Association, stated that since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties 65 years ago, the two Parties, States and peoples have assisted and supported each other in the cause of national liberation and construction, and nurtured the bilateral deep-rooted friendship.

Though it is unavoidable that problems would occur from time to time, friendship and cooperation are always the mainstream in bilateral relations, he said.

He said he was optimistic about the relationship between Vietnam and China, citing the firm foundation of the ties and their many shared interests.

The bilateral friendship was founded and nurtured by late Presidents Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong and generations of leaders and people of the two countries, Qi Jianguo said, adding that as both socialist countries, the two neighbours always regard the development of each other as their own development opportunities. They share the interests in protecting the communist party’s leadership and the socialist regime, maintaining stability and promoting economic development.

Therefore, as long as the two countries attach importance to the overall ties and address properly emerging problems, the bilateral relations will grow healthily.

He suggested the two sides fully implement the 16-word motto (friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive cooperation, long-lasting friendship, and looking towards the future) and the four-good spirit (good neighbours, good friends, good comrades, good partners) in order to strengthen the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership and intensify cooperation in various fields such as politics, economics, culture, education, science-technology, defence and security, thus bringing the relations to new height.

He called on the two nations to increase people-to-people exchanges such as people’s forums and youth friendship festivals as well as building cultural centres in each other’s countries and increasing the number of overseas students in order to enhance people’s trust about Vietnam-China friendship and reduce misunderstanding.

According to Qi Jianguo, in the coming time, the friendship associations of the two countries will organised a programe highlighting the journey of late President Ho Chi Minh in Guangxi, China, in celebration of his 125th birthday anniversary.

Regarding the territorial waters issue, he said Vietnam and China should make good use of available negotiation mechanisms to seek fundamental and long-term measures accepted by both sides.

Moreover, the two sides need to use the existing hotline mechanisms to restrain disagreements, and properly handle emerging issues, he said, adding that the two countries should push ahead with the negotiation on maritime cooperation in less sensitive fields and implement collaboration projects at sea in the year of ASEAN-China Maritime Cooperation 2015.

On the other hand, it is advisable for China, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries to implement fully the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and work towards the formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), thus maintaining stability in the East Sea.

Qi Jianguo also acknowledged that the result-oriented connection between Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries with China will help deepen the relations between China and Vietnam as well as between China and ASEAN.-VNA