Amid Strain, Xi Calls For Trust With Vietnam

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Significantly, Xi’s trip to Vietnam was the first in six years and the fourth overseas trip since beginning his third term as China’s President earlier this year…reports Asian Lite News

Barely months after Hanoi improved ties with Washington, China and Vietnam, two ancient foes with long-standing disputes over competing claims in the South China Sea, decided on Tuesday to hold discussions on collaborations between them, according to CNN.Chinese state media hailed a “new positioning of relations” between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong after they agreed to collaborate on matters ranging from maritime patrols to trade and crime prevention at a summit in Hanoi.In remarks made public by the official media on both sides after their meeting in Hanoi on Tuesday, the two leaders also promised to create a community with a “shared future”–a crucial Xi phraseology, CNN reported.Significantly, Xi’s trip to Vietnam was the first in six years and the fourth overseas trip since beginning his third term as China’s President earlier this year.

Xi’s visit comes after US President Joe Biden’s September visit to Vietnam, during which Washington and Hanoi strengthened their diplomatic relations in the face of rising commerce and growing anxiety about China’s escalating military presence in the South China Sea.In a bid to assert its “sovereignty” in the South China Sea, where Vietnam and other regional governments hold competing claims, Beijing, in a show of belligerence and power, militarised artificial islands and increased its maritime presence, stoking underlying tensions with Hanoi, CNN reported.According to Vietnam’s state radio channel, China and Vietnam have patrolled the designated Gulf of Tonkin in the past, including earlier this month.

“Respect each other’s legal and legitimate interests; not to complicate the situation; settle disputes via peaceful measures in accordance with international laws,” Vietnam Communist Party Chief Trong said in a speech during his meeting with Xi, CNN reported quoting VNA. China and Vietnam should “turn challenges posed by maritime issues into opportunities of bilateral cooperation”, Xi said. The South China Sea tensions are at an all-time high at a time when the two nations have come together for meetings. Over practically the whole waterway, including several features hundreds of kilometres from mainland China, Beijing asserts “indisputable sovereignty”, according to a report. However, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Philippines have conflicting claims in the maritime region. In recent months, there have been many run-ins between Chinese and Filipino warships as Manila tries to uphold its claims on the South China Sea and Beijing disregards an international tribunal’s 2016 decision, rejecting its ancient rights to the majority of the sea. (ANI)

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