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Monday, August 25, 2014, 16:01

Vietnam sends envoy to China to rebuild ties


 Vietnam sends envoy to China to rebuild ties

In this file photograph dated on Dec 21, 2011, then Chinese Vice-President and the current President Xi Jinping (left) greets Le Hong Anh, the Communist Party of Vietnam's politburo and standing member of the Secretariat, during the official welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Hanoi. (Photo / AFP)

A high-ranking Vietnamese official is to visit China as a special envoy, in a move observers say is part of measures taken by Hanoi to repair its relationship with Beijing.

A series of anti-China riots flared in Vietnam in May following operations by a Chinese oil rig in waters near Zhongjian Island in the South China Sea.

The riots dealt a heavy blow to Vietnam's international image and its appeal to international investors.

Le Hong Anh, a member of Vietnam's political bureau and standing secretary of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, will visit China on Tuesday and Wednesday, Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

He will act as the special envoy of Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee.

Pan Jin'e, an expert on Vietnamese studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the envoy's visit shows that Vietnam wants to repair ties with China as Hanoi strives hard to tackle challenges at home.

"Hanoi wants to ensure that top-level interactions are not interrupted because of negative incidents. It knows that its domestic stability cannot be achieved without China's support, especially in an economic context."

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi visited Vietnam in mid-June and asked Hanoi to take sufficient follow-up measures to heal the wounds triggered by the violence. In a series of high-level talks, the two countries agreed to handle sensitive issues properly to avoid damaging their relations.

Li Jinming, a professor of maritime law and South China Sea studies at Xiamen University, said, "For Vietnam, it will take quite a while and a lot of effort to see an end to the current trauma."

Le Hai Binh, a spokesman for Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Monday that Vietnam will roll out "humanitarian support" for Chinese workers affected by the riots.

Hanoi is "sorry that some Chinese workers lost their lives or were injured during the incidents", and the Vietnam-China Friendship Association will send a working team to China to visit the families of several victims.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China endorses the work done by Vietnam and the positions it has taken.

Beijing expects Hanoi to fully implement relevant measures, Hong added.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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