Friendly cooperation between Vietnam and China is in the fundamental interests of the two peoples, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Van Tho said in his article which was published on China’s People’s Daily on January 17 on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations.

The diplomat recalled that the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) officially set up diplomatic ties on January 18, 1950, which was an important event in the two countries’ relations. He stressed that the event opened up a new era in the relationship between the two socialist countries, which was built by President Ho Chi Minh and President Mao Zedong themselves and fostered by many generations of leaders of both countries.

The ambassador noted that despite profound regional and global changes affecting both countries over the past 65 years, a shared perception remains unchanged, that is the stable and long-term development of bilateral relations is vital not only to each country’s development but also to regional peace, stability, and prosperity.

“Although the Vietnam-China ties experienced ups and downs during the past six and a half decades, friendship cooperation is still the mainstream as it meets the keen aspirations and fundamental interests of the two peoples while matching the era’s common trend of peace and cooperation for development,” the Ambassador wrote.

He reiterated that in its foreign policy, Vietnam always treasures its comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with China and considers this as one of the top and long-term strategic priorities.

The Vietnamese people always keep in mind China’s great and effective assistance to their past struggle for national independence and reunification and the current cause of construction and renewal, the ambassador said, adding that Vietnam considers China’s development as an opportunity for itself and also hopes that China, in return, considers Vietnam’s stability and development as its opportunity.

He underlined the significant strides in Vietnam-China relations in recent years, particularly the establishment of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the motto of “friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability and looking toward the future” and in the spirit of becoming “good neighbours, good friends, good comrades and good partners”.

The two sides have set up dozens of cooperation mechanisms at all levels and in all sectors, while delegation exchanges and high-level contacts between the two Parties and States as well as between ministries, sectors and localities have been maintained and fostered. Since 2005, the two countries began the organisation of joint high-level Party theory conference, deepening the collaboration between the two Parties in terms of both theory and practice.

For the past ten years, China has always been Vietnam’s biggest trade partner while Vietnam has emerged as the second largest Southeast Asian trade partner of China with two-way trade estimated at 58.5 billion USD in 2014 (Chinese statistics put the figure at more than 80 billion USD).

Cultural, educational, scientific-technological, and tourism cooperation has also recorded substantive progress. Meanwhile, the two countries successfully solved two major historical issues, namely completing the land border demarcation and the delimitation of the Tonkin Gulf, the diplomat noted.

He said 2015 will be meaningful to both Vietnam and China with a number of activities marking the 65 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties to be held.

The ambassador proposed the following measures to develop bilateral relations in a healthy and effective manner this year.

“Firstly, the two sides need to continue increasing mutual understanding and political trust, which is of utmost importance and a prerequisite for the successful implementation of their joint programmes and agreements, ensuring the healthy and on-the-right-track development of bilateral relations. Accordingly, the two sides should make good use of mechanisms of exchanges and contacts at both high level and between ministries/sectors as well as Party commissions while increasing people-to-people exchanges, especially between people in border areas, thus contributing to consolidating the social basis of bilateral relations.

“Secondly, the two sides should enhance substantive and effective cooperation in all fields and bring into play existing cooperation mechanisms to successfully carry out bilateral agreements, especially those on economy, trade, and investment. The action plan for the implementation of their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership as agreed by the countries’ senior leaders needs to be carried out seriously and thoroughly. At the same time, the two sides should set up working groups on infrastructure and finance-currency.

“Thirdly, the two sides need to continue with settling sea issues by peaceful measures on the basis of respecting each other’s legitimate interests and abiding by international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“In 2015, the two countries need to further popularise the common perception of their senior leaders, including the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues, avoid actions that can further complicate the situation, and maintain peace and stability at sea.

“The two sides also need to coordinate in carrying out cooperative marine projects in less sensitive realms, work for substantive progress of the negotiation of the working groups on the waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf, and maintain negotiation mechanisms on maritime matters including the working group on cooperation for mutual development.

“Fourthly, both countries should increase the active and objective communication activities on each other’s cause of renewal, door-opening reform and building of socialism along with their traditional friendship. The press and the media of both countries play a very important role in bolstering the good will, friendship and mutual understanding between the two nations, helping intensify friendly and mutually beneficiary cooperation”.-VNA