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by Xinhua Writer Deng Yushan

With General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong of the Communist Party of Vietnam arriving here Tuesday for a four-day visit to China, the two countries are blessed with an excellent opportunity to further fortify their time-honored friendly ties. China
The timing of the trip is riveting. Firstly and most obviously, it comes as the two Asian neighbors celebrate the 65th anniversary of their diplomatic relationship, which has generally been moving ahead on the track of friendship and cooperation.
Secondly, it happens after the two sides have managed to ride out a considerably disturbing episode in the history of bilateral interaction over their South China Sea dispute.
Thirdly, it takes place ahead of a Washington-announced visit by Trong to the United States, which, if carried out, would mark a historic milestone in the improvement of Vietnam-U.S. engagement.
Given that, the latest stroke of top-level diplomacy between Beijing and Hanoi sends out a clear albeit delicate message with at least three mutually supplementary key points.
First, they cherish their strong and lasting bond, which the pair have defined as “good neighbors, good friends, good comrades and good partners,” and share the will to make it ever more secure and fruitful.
Their geographical proximity, economic complementarity, cultural affinity and ideological similarity, not to mention their long history of supporting each other, suggest that they form a natural community of common destiny.
And their current development needs, with both at a key stage of reform, demand that they seize every chance to gather positive momentum and deepen practical cooperation, so as to bring more tangible benefits to their peoples.
Second, the two sides are determined to keep a firm hand on the main rudder of their relationship and able to stick to the right course by properly handling their differences.
It is naive to imagine that traditional chums like China and Vietnam would never quarrel or fight. Even full brothers do that. But it is more so to speculate that their deep-rooted partnership would eventually crumble because of the South China Sea row. They have got through rougher patches.
Third, Beijing and Hanoi are mature enough to handle their relations beyond the bilateral scope. They will not chase after other interests at the cost of China-Vietnam relations, nor will they allow anybody to drive a wedge between them.
Interpretations of Trong’s expected U.S. trip as a move to counterbalance China smell of Cold War-era machination and confrontationalism, which should have long been dumped to the dustbin of history.
China unequivocally encourages its neighbors to follow development paths and cultivate foreign relations in line with their respective realities. And it is widely accepted common sense that such pursuits should be conducive both to national development and to regional peace.
Although the foundation of China-Vietnam ties is robust, the two sides cannot afford to slack off in fostering their relationship. Some outsiders, for selfish reasons, are exploiting every possible excuse to sow discord between them, while a few in Vietnam’s political circle have been deluded by external Pied Pipers and become accomplices.
The most viable way ahead is for Beijing and Hanoi to cement mutual trust, boost win-win cooperation, and let the facts and figures bring those deceived back to their senses and turn those wicked into the butts of jokes. Enditem




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