Vietnam sincerely wishes China success in its development cause and to play an active role in safeguarding peace and stability as well as promoting prosperity in Asia and around the globe, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh wrote in an article on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of Vietnam-China diplomatic ties.

The Deputy PM emphasised that Vietnam and China are neighbours with a time –honoured friendship. He recalled that 65 years ago, on January 18, 1950, the People’s Republic of China became the first country in the world to establish diplomatic ties with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, creating a historical milestone in the long-standing relationship between the two countries.

“Over the past 65 years, the friendship between the two countries, nurtured by President Ho Chi Minh and President Mao Zedong together with generations of the two countries’ leaders, has become a valuable asset of the two nations. The years that the two Parties, States and peoples supported and assisted each other in their respective revolutionary causes have brought deep impressions and warm sentiment on the people of both countries. The Vietnamese Party, State and people always treasure and are grateful for the earnest assistance of the Chinese Party, Government and people as well as of international friends from all continents to Vietnam in the cause of national liberation and reunification,” Deputy PM Minh wrote.

He went on to affirm that bilateral relations have grown over time despite ups and downs. Following the normalisation of relations in 1991, bilateral ties developed rapidly. Aware of the importance of a stable and friendly relationship between the two neighbouring socialist countries, high-ranking leaders of both sides have made regular contacts and exchanges and continuously fostered frameworks of the bilateral relationship. The two countries agreed to develop relations under the motto of “friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability and looking toward the future” and become “good neighbours, good friends, good comrades and good partners”. Particularly since the establishment of a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in 2008, the bilateral relations have constantly expanded and deepened in all realms.

The Deputy PM noted that very few partners of Vietnam which have that many mechanisms for exchange and extensive cooperation between their Parties, Governments, National Assemblies as well as socio-political organisations and localities like China . According to the official, by the time the two countries normalised their relations in 1991, few could imagine that just 23 years later, two-way trade would increase by more than 1,500 times (over 55 billion USD in 2014 from 32 million USD in 1991). China ’s investment in Vietnam has risen from zero to approximately 8 billion USD in total registered capital in 2014, putting China at the 9 th place among 101 nations and territories investing Vietnam .

The two countries have also reaped encouraging achievements in defence, security, education, culture, sports, health, and science-technology cooperation. More than 13,000 Vietnamese students are studying in China while thousands of Chinese students are pursuing education in Vietnam . At the same time, friendship exchanges between the two nations, especially in border areas and among young people, are held regularly on a large scale, contributing to enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between their people.

Deputy PM Minh pointed to the fact that just nearly 20 years after the normalisation of relations, the two countries had successfully solved two out of the three complicated issues left by history, which are the completion of the land border demarcation and marker planting, and the delimitation of the Gulf of Tonkin, thanks to goodwill and on the basis of long-term interests.

He noted that the East Sea issue required both countries to make patient efforts to deal with difficulties. Recent developments in these waters all the more proved the necessity for respecting legitimate interests and addressing disputes via peaceful means on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Deputy PM reiterated that in the context of complicated developments in regional and global situation, the Parties and States of both Vietnam and China are facing new opportunities and challenges in the cause of national renovation, door-opening reform and development. Vietnam is exerting efforts towards the goal of national industrialisation and modernisation by 2020, while China is pushing ahead with the objective of building an all-round well-off society in 2020.

“More than ever, the two sides need a peaceful and stable environment to serve their respective development strategies. Vietnam sincerely hopes China to thrive and play an active role in protecting peace, stability and promoting prosperity in Asia and around the globe as a whole,” Deputy PM Minh wrote.

According to the Deputy PM, 2015 - the year marking the 65 th founding anniversary of Vietnam-China diplomatic ties - is a great occasion for both sides to look back on the past journey while looking forward to a new course for the bilateral relations.

“The Vietnamese Party, State and people consistently treasure the friendship, equal and win-win cooperation with China and sincerely wish the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership will grow in a deep, stable and sustainable manner amidst a range of instabilities in many regions in the world while all eyes are on Asia with a lot of expectations,” he wrote.

In this spirit, the two countries should promote result-oriented cooperation and enhance political trust between the two Parties and States in 2015 and the years after, Deputy PM Minh said, adding that the two countries’ ministries, sectors and localities need to jointly implement effectively the action programme on Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, thus meeting the aspiration and interests of the two peoples.

He wrote that to consolidate the foundation of bilateral ties, the two countries need to carry out activities to strengthen the friendly sentiments between the two peoples, particularly among the young. In addition, the two sides should effectively carry out important common perceptions reached by leaders of the two Parties and States as well as the Vietnam-China agreement on the basic principles on addressing maritime issues, while promoting negotiation mechanisms on sea matters on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UNCLOS, the full implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards an early finalization of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), thus contributing to furthering bilateral relations and ensuring peace, stability, navigation and aviation safety and security in the East Sea and the region.

While noting that the regional and global situation has and will see a lot of changes compared to the time Vietnam and China established diplomatic ties 65 years ago, Deputy PM Minh stressed that however, one thing will never change - that peace, stability and development are the aspiration and the common interest of both nations.

“Friendly cooperation is the mission of the Parties, States and people of the two countries. The future of each country as well as peace, stability and prosperity in the region calls for a healthy and stable development of Vietnam-China relations,” the Deputy PM concluded.-VNA