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People's Daily Online

China-Vietnam ties develop steadily with closer cooperation, exchanges

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:28, November 02, 2022

NANNING/HANOI, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- In Pingxiang, a border county in south China's Chongzuo city, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, flat-bed and container trucks carrying fruits, building materials and industrial equipment are lining up to cross the China-Vietnam border.

The county, home to around 130,000 people, has witnessed the rapidly growing trade and even closer practical cooperation between the two neighboring countries in recent years, which also gave a strong boost to local trade and economic development and brought more benefits to the people of both countries.

After China and Vietnam normalized their relationship over 30 years ago, they forged a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in 2008, and the two countries have been maintaining communication at all levels, and working together to step up synergy in development strategies, facilitate practical cooperation, promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges and advance regional connectivity.

With joint efforts, the two countries' cooperation has been advancing steadily. China has remained Vietnam's biggest trading partner and the second largest export destination, while Vietnam has continued to be China's biggest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Bilateral cooperation in such areas as investment, infrastructure and green energy has also flourished.

Statistics of China's customs showed that the two countries' trade increased by 19.7 percent to 230.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, the first time in history surpassing the 200-billion mark. It is a hard-won achievement amid the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the staggering global economy.

The booming cross-border fruit trade has been one of the new highlights of bilateral trade in recent years. Thanks to fast transportation, cold chain logistics and the development of e-commerce, Vietnam's fruit exports to China have increased rapidly year by year, and the China-Vietnam border city Chongzuo has become the largest city for import and export of border fruits trade in China.

In the third quarter this year, the foreign trade volume of Chongzuo jumped to 78.12 billion yuan (10.6 billion dollars) with a surge of nearly 50 percent year-on-year.

On Sept. 19, after years of small-scale trade around the border areas, fresh durians from Vietnam were officially exported to China for the first time, offering new opportunities to durian growers, packers and producers in the country.

Eyeing the huge potential of China's market with over 1.4 billion consumers, Rang Dong Agricultural Product Import-Export Company in Vietnam's southern Long An province hopes to deliver more fresh and processed fruits to China, especially after the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership came into effect on Jan. 1.

Nguyen Tat Quyen, the company's director, said that besides the gigantic size, the Chinese market has another big advantage, namely being close to Vietnam, and convenient for road, sea and air transport.

During the 14th meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation in July, the two sides agreed to bolster their Belt and Road cooperation, work together to build a mechanism for ensuring and promoting the stability of industrial and supply chains, strengthen port construction and facilitate customs clearance.

As a flagship project of Belt and Road cooperation, the China-constructed Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line project in Hanoi, the first of this type in the Southeast Asian country, has transported millions of Vietnamese since its commercial operation in November last year.

The metro project has greatly facilitated the travel of residents along the route. Many residents have begun to abandon the traditional travel mode of motorcycles and choose to take the metro.

"Taking these trains, I will no longer have to worry about congestion every morning while going to work," said Hoang Thi Huong, a 30-year-old passenger from Hanoi's Thanh Xuan district, hoping that more urban railway projects will be constructed to ease transportation in the city.

The past years have also witnessed growing friendship and mutual understanding between the people of the two countries. An increasing number of Chinese films and TV series have gained popularity in Vietnam, while the flourishing bilateral ties have attracted more and more Vietnamese students to study and work in China.

"As a Vietnamese student in China, I'm familiar with both countries, and I hope to help promote exchanges and make the two countries better understand each other," said Nguyen Huyen Trang, a medical student at Guangxi University in China.

Seeing the bright development prospect of China, Nguyen said he plans to find a job related to China-Vietnam medical cooperation and stay in Guangxi. "The experience of studying in China will give me more advantages in this regard," he added.

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