Chinese President makes start of state visit to Vietnam

Vastavam web: Vietnam gave Chinese President Xi Jinping the red carpet treatment today at the start of a state visit, as the two communist neighbors try to broaden their economic ties and work on resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea.Xi and Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party, reviewed an honor guard and headed for talks behind closed doors.Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang said that his country wants to end disputes in the South China Sea through peaceful means.
“It’s our policy to settle disputes in the East Sea through peaceful negotiations and with respect for diplomatic and legal process in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said, referring to the South China Sea.China in recent years has built artificial islands and increased its militarization there, drawing criticism from Washington, which argues that the US has a national interest in freedom of navigation in sea lanes critical for world trade.
Vietnam has become the most vocal opponent of China’s moves after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte softened his country’s stance on China.Tran Viet Thai of the Vietnam Diplomatic Academy said Xi’s visit is important to build mutual trust.”The visit marks a new step forward in Vietnam-China relations,” he said. “Hopefully the relations will continue to stabilize, because the two sides currently share great interests in broadening their cooperation and maintaining stability.”The two communist neighbors have in recent months experienced spats over the South China Sea.