Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo grants an interview to the Vietnam News Agency. (Photo: VNA)
– Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo
has highlighted the significance of the Lunar New Year
(Tet) festival, the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries, and their cooperation prospects for 2023.
In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of New Year 2023, he quoted late Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh as saying that Vietnam and China are “both comrades and brothers”.
“We are comrades who share the same sense of purpose and also close brothers,” the ambassador said, stressing the profound meaning of the word “brothers” thanks to cultural similarities, including Tet
customs, between the two peoples.
People buy Lunar New Year decorations in Sichuan province of China. (Photo: Xinhua)
Xiong noted Tet is a traditional festival of the Vietnamese and Chinese peoples, and the two countries’ Tet celebrations are highly similar. Whenever the Lunar New Year comes, the Tet atmosphere will spread across Hanoi, from big streets to small alleys, bringing about close and familiar feelings to him through similar customs: family reunion in year-end parties and New Year visits to pagodas.
However, there are also some differences as 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit in China but the Year of the Cat in Vietnam, he added.
The rich histories and special traditional cultures of China and Vietnam have contributed to the Eastern culture and civilisation. Likewise, New Year celebration customs in Japan and the Republic of Korea are also part of the Eastern culture, and it is necessary to treasure and further bring into play the role of the Eastern culture in the world's civilisation, according to the diplomat.
Mentioning Vietnam’s economic recovery results in 2022, Ambassador Xiong highly valued the GDP growth of over 8%, the highest in the region and the world, saying the Vietnamese economy is now full of vitality, attractive to foreign investors, and boasts vibrant external economic activities with trade value topping 700 billion USD.
Chung cakes are an indispensable part of Tet in Vietnam. (Source: VNA)
He held that the abovementioned achievements are attributable to the clear-sighted leadership by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), headed by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, and the Government along with efforts by the Vietnamese people.
The economy of Vietnam has been comprehensively integrating into the world and now has great openness, he went on.
Regarding the COVID-19 combat, the diplomat said the Party and Government of Vietnam have effectively combined the pandemic fight with socio-economic development and obtained great successes. In the most trying times of the pandemic, the country made all-out efforts in promoting vaccination and seeking vaccine supply sources, including from China.
In its capacity, China provided 52 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, including 7 million doses in non-refundable aid, for Vietnam, helping set up a line of defence against the pandemic amid the most trying times in Vietnam.
In terms of trade ties, the ambassador said despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral trade in the first 11 months of last year exceeded 210 billion USD, and the whole year’s figure is expected to surpass the 230 billion USD recorded in 2021, which is a highly encouraging result.
A highlight of relations between the two Parties and countries last year is the official visit to China by CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in late October.
The visit had great influence, Xiong affirmed, adding that leaders of the two countries once again reached strategic common perceptions and agreed that Vietnam and China will support each other along their path to socialism, stay steadfast in the strategic leadership by the two Parties’ top leaders, and advocate cooperation in all fields.
General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong (L) and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of China Xi Jinping pose for a photo at the welcome ceremony for the Vietnamese leader during his official visit to China in late October 2022. (Photo: VNA)
During the trip, the two sides also adopted a joint statement of extreme political significance that touches upon many areas and creates favourable conditions for the two countries to continue cooperation in different spheres, including economy and trade.
China and Vietnam hold good conditions for strengthening partnerships in investment, economy, and trade since they share a borderline and boast highly complementary advantages. China supports businesses with good strength, reputation, and high technology coming to Vietnam to invest in potential areas such as developing digital economy, green economy, and new energy.
China is ready to enhance economic, trade, and policy cooperation with Vietnam, the diplomat said, noting his country may fully resume air routes connecting with Vietnam this year so as to facilitate bilateral mobility and economic activities.
Speaking highly of Vietnam’s efforts to combat corruption and negative phenomena, Xiong underlined the similar policies and determination of the Communist Party of China and the CPV in this regard.
He underlined that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and the CPV Central Committee have attached great importance to the corruption combat. Vietnam has taken drastic actions with a strong resolve and dealt with many law-violating cadres. The CPV has also issued many documents and unceasingly perfected regulations to augment the corruption fight.
The ambassador applauded Vietnam’s establishment of anti-corruption steering committees at the central and provincial levels. He noted China is ready to cooperate with Vietnam in corruption prevention and control as in line with the common perceptions between their top leaders.
In the interview, he offered greetings to the Vietnamese people and expressed is hope that in the New Year, Vietnam will obtain brilliant achievements in socio-economic development under the leadership of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and the CPV Central Committee./.