President Hu says friendship between China and Vietnam enters new stage

The traditional friendship between China and Vietnam has entered a new stage of all-round friendly cooperation, Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Tuesday in Hanoi. Hu made the comment in a speech at the National Assembly of Vietnam on Tuesday. The Chinese president, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), arrived here earlier Monday for a three-day official goodwill visit.

"China and Vietnam linked by mountains and rivers share common ideals and have related culture and interests. The peoples of the two countries had profound feelings for each other in history, " Hu said Mutual respect, understanding, support, trust and cooperation remain the driving force of the development of the Sino-Vietnamese ties and the friendship between the two peoples, he said.

With concerted efforts made by the peoples for generations, the Sino-Vietnamese traditional friendship has entered a new stage of overall friendly cooperation, the president said.

Hu said the development is manifested in the guidelines set by the two countries' leaders for long-term stability, orientation toward future, good-neighborliness and friendship and all-round cooperation. "It is indicated by the common call of the two sides to be good neighbors, friends, comrades and partners for ever, " Hu said.

He added the development is also displayed by the in-depth exchanges about governing experiences between the two countries, and the CPC and the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), and by the two nations' friendly exchanges and cooperation for mutual benefits in various fields.

"China has turned into Vietnam's largest trade partner. The two countries' trade volume is expected to reach the goal of 10 billion US dollars before 2010, " Hu said.

The two sides have carried out close coordination and cooperation within multilateral frameworks like the United Nations, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and Asia-Europe Meeting, Hu said. He noted, "The Sino-Vietnamese friendly cooperation has brought real benefits for the two countries and their people." Hu added he talked with Nong Duc Manh, general secretary of the CPV Central Committee, and Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong on Monday afternoon.

"Leaders of both sides agree it is in the basic interests of China and Vietnam and their people to promote friendly mutual trust, cooperation for mutual benefits and common development between the two countries and the CPC and the CPV, " Hu said.

The leaders vowed to adopt more effective measures to intensify bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the fields like politics, economy, foreign affairs, defense, culture and education. Exchanges on governing experience, and socialist theory and practice will also be boosted, reports Xinhua. I.L.

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