Vietnam’s Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong started his official visit to China on Thursday, marked with a grand ceremony and a series of new agreements.
The Vietnamese leader was welcomed in Beijing with a 21-gun salute, the highest ritual for a foreign official, in an event chaired by Chinese General Secretary and State President Xi Jinping.
The two leaders started talks on the same day to discuss ties and cooperation, as well as peace and stability in the region.
Trong is scheduled to visit China from January 12 to 15. Xi said, as cited by the Vietnam News Agency, that the trip is crucial and helps deepen Vietnam-China relations.
The leaders shared the same view that the tension in the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, is a major issue in Vietnam-China relations.
It is “complicated” and is greatly affecting the political trust, the public sentiments, the state of the bilateral relations, and the general situation in the region and the world, they were quoted as saying.
Trong said Vietnam will continue dealing with the dispute with peaceful measures in compliance with international law and with respect to diplomatic and legal processes.
The leaders agreed to discuss principles on building cross-border economic cooperation zones, and planned to sign a deal soon.
They also agreed that the countries should continue to support each other in international organizations and at global forums. Xi is expected to attend the APEC Summit 2017 held in Vietnam’s Da Nang.
The two leaders have so far signed 15 cooperation agreements in various fields from economy, transportation and defense to health care, tourism and training, before they joined a tea party, an unprecedented gesture made by China to a foreign official.