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Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 09:54

Beijing aiming to take ties with Hanoi to a new level

By An Baijie
Beijing aiming to take ties with Hanoi to a new level
Fan Changlong (right), vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, meets with Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich in Beijing on Monday. (Song Jihe / For China Daily)

China wants to work with Vietnam on handling and resolving disputes properly to take bilateral ties to a new level, top military officer Fan Changlong said on Monday.

Fan made the remark while meeting with Ngo Xuan Lich, Vietnam's minister of national defense and vice-secretary of the Central Military Commission, who is on a four-day trip to China with a delegation of senior military officers.

It is his first visit to China since becoming defense minister in April. He also met with Vice-President Li Yuanchao on Monday.

President Xi Jinping and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong have met with each other many times in recent years.

They have reached a high consensus on jointly building a strategic China-Vietnam community of common destiny, said Fan, vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission. The commission is chaired by Xi.

The development of military ties between the two countries is gaining momentum with the guidance of top leaders from both nations, and China wants to make continuous efforts with Vietnam to safeguard regional peace and stability, Fan said.

China accuses Vietnam of illegally occupying 29 of about 50 islands and reefs in the South China Sea. Tension rose early this month after the reported deployment of rocket launchers by Vietnam on several of the Nansha Islands.

Lich said Vietnam wants to make joint efforts with China to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries to make new progress on bilateral ties.

Referring to their deep military friendship, Lich said the two countries should continue to boost political trust and handle disputes properly.

Hong Xiaoyong, China's ambassador to Vietnam, attended an airport departure ceremony in Hanoi for the Vietnamese delegation on Saturday, according to the Chinese embassy's website.

Lich's visit is of great significance and contributes to boosting ties between the two armies and countries, Hong said.

The ambassador said the land border between the two countries is becoming one of China's safest. The two armies have worked together on defense strategy dialogue, border exchanges, joint maritime patrols, training and sharing of experience in Party and political work and United Nations peacekeeping missions.

In September 2011, Lich, who was then head of the Political Department of the Vietnam People's Army, visited China for talks with Xi, who was then China's vice-president.

Jia Duqiang, a senior researcher of Southeast Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the top leaders of both countries have agreed to handle disputes and enhance cooperation even though the South China Sea remains a sensitive issue in bilateral ties.

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