Vietnam’s Foreign Minister visits China on December 2-4

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) and Vietnamese top diplomat Bui Thanh Son, in Chongqing, June 8, 2021 (China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

On December 2, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son paid an official visit to China during a two-day visit, at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, the foreign ministries of the two countries announced.

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son will pay an official visit to China from December 2-4, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on December 1.

Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Wang Wenbin said on December 2 that Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son will visit China at the invitation of the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The International Newspaper quoted Vietnamese Ambassador to China Pham Sao Mai as saying that Mr. Son’s visit has “very important meaning” reflected in the aspect: “continuing the momentum of exchange and close contact between the two countries, contributing to further strengthening political trust” and “effectively implementing the common perceptions between the senior leaders of the two parties and two countries, and bilateral agreements.”

The visit also contributes to deepening and deepening the Vietnam-China friendship and cooperation for mutual benefits” and “adds impetus to the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Vietnam and China,” added Ambassador Pham Sao Mai.

It is known that this is the first official visit to China by Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son since he took office in April 2021, not long after the official visit to Vietnam in September 2021 by Wang.

According to Ambassador Mai, Vietnam-China relations still have some shortcomings such as Vietnam’s trade deficit is still large; Vietnamese goods, especially agricultural products, still face difficulties in accessing the Chinese market; Customs clearance of goods at the border gate is sometimes not smooth; some Chinese investment projects have quality and progress problems, and disagreement over the issue at the South China Sea (Vietnam calls it the East Sea).

Recently, Beijing has made efforts to reassert its influence over Vietnam and pull Hanoi to its side in the counterbalance to Washington. Experts say that increasingly fierce Sino-US strategic competition is a challenge for Hanoi.

During his visit to Vietnam in September, Mr. Vuong Nghi emphasized the ideological relationship between the two countries, strengthened China’s vaccine diplomacy, and warned Vietnam about outside interference in the East Sea.

So far, Vietnam has continued to maintain relations with both China and the United States and is resolutely not leaning towards either side. (Translated)