by Xinhua Writer Chen Shilei
BEIJING, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- China and Vietnam are enjoying stable development of bilateral ties in a new era, while envisioning broad prospects for pragmatic cooperation in a wide range of areas.
About a year ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a visit to Vietnam, the first of its kind by a Chinese president in the past decade. The historic visit has charted the course for future development of bilateral ties.
Xi's visit has made great contribution to consolidating bilateral traditional friendship, deepening comprehensive strategic cooperation between China and Vietnam and promoting peace, stability and development in the region and the rest of the world.
In the past year, both China and Vietnam have endeavored to make strides in boosting their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership and bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples.
For starters, China and Vietnam, both sticking to the leadership of the Communist Party and the system of socialism, constitute a community of common destiny with strategic significance, and the future development of the cause of socialism in the two countries is highly complementary to each other.
China and Vietnam also enjoy the "comradely and brotherly" traditional friendship built and carefully cultivated by Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh and other leaders of the older generation.
Sharing such common strategic interests, the two countries should have confidence in keeping their relations on the right track and promote economic and trade cooperation with a win-win spirit.
In fact, bilateral trade hit a new high in 2015, making China Vietnam's biggest trading partner for the 12 consecutive years and Vietnam China's second largest partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2014.
During Xi's visit last year, the two sides signed a number of cooperation documents covering such fields as transportation, production capacity, railway, energy, finance and local affairs.
Now China and Vietnam are expanding cooperation within the framework of China's Belt and Road Initiative and Vietnam's "Two Corridors and One Economic Circle" plan, as well as enhancing production capacity cooperation.
Besides, China and Vietnam, two of the six countries along the Lancang-Mekong River, can benefit from the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism highlighting cooperation in security, development, and social and cultural fields.
Furthermore, China and Vietnam are enjoying increasingly closer people-to-people exchanges.
Each year, there will be regular exchange of visits by dozens of delegations in such fields of education, sports, arts, archaeology, religion, publishing, as well as film and television between the two sides, which has greatly enriched bilateral communication.
China has become one of the main destinations for Vietnamese students, with the number of Vietnamese students studying in China exceeding 10,000 in 2014. In the first nine months of 2015, nearly 1.3 million Chinese tourists visited Vietnam, accounting for about a quarter of foreign visitors to the country.
Of course, there are differences especially maritime disputes in the South China Sea between China and Vietnam, and the key lies in how to deal with and control their differences.
In this regard, China and Vietnam have made efforts to strengthen cooperation despite the differences, expand common interests through bilateral negotiations and strive to achieve the common goal of joint exploitation in the Beibu Gulf.
In conclusion, it is believed that China and Vietnam, standing at a new historical starting point, can push their bilateral relations toward building a community of a shared future.