January 9, 2018 - tom

Spotlight: Xi’s Vietnam, Singapore tour sets paradigm for new model of int’l relations

BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s just-concluded visit to Vietnam and Singapore has been a successful move in China’s peripheral diplomacy.

The new development of China-Vietnam and China-Singapore relations goes in line with Xi’s proposal for a "new model of international relations," which features win-win cooperation and construction of a community of common destiny.

Xi’s state visit to the two countries came as this year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of China-Vietnam diplomatic relations as well as the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-Singapore diplomatic ties.

DEEPENING OF PRAGMATIC COOPERATION

Xi’s visit to Vietnam and Singapore laid emphasis on pragmatic cooperation and was focused on mutual benefit.

China and Vietnam have reached consensus on expanding cooperation within the framework of China’s initiative on the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (Belt and Road Initiative) and Vietnam’s "Two Corridors and One Economic Circle" plan, as well as on enhancing production capacity cooperation, Xi said in his talks with Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee, on Thursday.

The connection between the Chinese initiative and the Vietnamese plan will definitely generate favorable outcomes, such as promoting cooperation in border areas and boosting infrastructure development for Vietnam, among others, said Nguyen Ngoc Truong, former Vietnamese ambassador to five countries and now head of a private think-tank.

Bui Hong Phuc, vice president of Vietnam-China Friendship Association, told Xinhua the visit will lead to crucial policies and orientations which will boost practical cooperation in areas of economy and trade.

It will accelerate implementation of transportation and infrastructure projects, hi-tech projects and beyond, Phuc said.

"China is willing to expand investment and financial cooperation with Vietnam," Xi said, adding that China is ready to work with Vietnam to develop two-way trade in a balanced and sustainable manner.

China has been Vietnam’s largest trading partner for 11 consecutive years, while Vietnam is China’s second largest trading partner in ASEAN.

Practical cooperation is also high on the agenda of Xi’s visit to Singapore, which has been China’s largest foreign investor for two consecutive years.

During Xi’s visit, the two sides announced the readiness to launch negotiations on upgrade of their seven-year-old free trade agreement (FTA) and the third government-to-government (G-to-G) project in Chongqing city in southwest China, following the first in Suzhou in east China and the second in Tianjin in north China.

The third intergovernmental project emphasizes modern interconnectivity and mutual access as well as the modern service economy, which not only represents the latest trend in industrial development in China, but is also a major content of the Belt and Road Initiative, said Koh Chin Yee, CEO of the Longus Research Institute in Singapore.

Gu Qingyang, associate professor of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at National University of Singapore, pointed out the win-win nature of the Chongqing project.

By means of a project of cooperation of such a scale, China and Singapore have placed their bilateral cooperation within such a great framework, which enables Singapore to have an opportunity to participate in the development of central and western China, Gu told Xinhua.

During his visit, Xi pointed out that China and the rest of the world will jointly seek development while a premise for such development is an environment of lasting peace.

Gu noted a peaceful environment for common development can be realized through initiatives on economic exchange such as the Belt and Road Initiative.

COMMON DEVELOPMENT WITH NEIGHBORS

Xi’s visit to Vietnam will push forward the development of the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Meanwhile, China and Singapore agreed to build a partnership of all-round cooperation keeping with the times in what Wang called "a landmark move" for bilateral ties.

The progress in the development of relations with Vietnam and Singapore is expected to benefit both sides, and will also promote China-ASEAN relations, as the two countries are both ASEAN members.

During his talks with Vietnamese leaders, Xi reiterated that China and Vietnam constitute a community of common destiny with strategic significance, and that the futures of the cause of socialism in the two countries are highly interrelated.

Xi urged the two sides to inherit and maintain the "comradely and brotherly" traditional friendship built and carefully cultivated by the leaders of the older generation.

Xi’s Vietnam visit was a practical move in promoting mutual trust between the two Communist Parties, the two countries and the two peoples, said Nguyen Hoang Anh, dean of faculty of Chinese linguistics and culture under Hanoi National University.

Duong Trung Quoc, a popular historian who serves as a National Assembly deputy, said he believes "Vietnamese and Chinese leaders are making efforts to solve remaining problems in bilateral relations on the basis of mutual equality."

In his talks with Trong, Xi urged the two sides to properly deal with and control their differences on maritime issues, gradually accumulate consensus and expand common interests through bilateral negotiations, and strive to achieve the common goal of joint exploitation.

In a speech delivered at the National University of Singapore on Saturday, Xi said China is capable of and confident in working with ASEAN to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Xi’s remarks signaled China’s determination to safeguard regional peace and stability, and its willingness to build a community of common destiny, as Xi had repeatedly pointed out.

Koh said Xi’s visit to Vietnam will enhance mutual understanding on the issue with direct communication between top leaders, which will definitely be in the interests of regional stability, while the visit to Singapore is expected to promote dialogue and mutual understanding in the region, especially considering Singapore’s role as the rotating coordinator for China-ASEAN relations and not being a claimant in the South China Sea dispute.

Gu said that Singapore’s pursuit of a relatively neutral diplomatic maneuver and the country’s reputation and credibility will help it better play a role in facilitating communication between China and ASEAN.

He also noted that China-Singapore cooperation will be exemplary and demonstrative for China-ASEAN relations, and play a leading role in China’s long-term good-neighborly and friendly cooperation.

Chen Gang, a research fellow at the East Asian Institute at National University of Singapore, highlighted the positive impact of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on China-ASEAN relations.

As the 10 ASEAN members are all founding members of the AIIB, and as the Belt and Road Initiative covers the entire Southeast Asia region, the China-proposed initiatives will certainly deepen China-ASEAN relations, Chen said.

Noting that China and ASEAN face an important opportunity to develop relations, Xi pledged to strengthen strategic dialogue and deepen practical cooperation in various fields with ASEAN countries to jointly lift China-ASEAN strategic partnership to a new height.

Neighborhood is a starting point of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and vision of a community of common destiny, Xi said in his speech delivered at National University of Singapore.

Xi’s visit to Vietnam and Singapore will contribute to peace and stability in the region, and advance the sound and stable development of China-ASEAN strategic partnership, which will yield win-win results and sets a paradigm for building a new model of international relations.

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