Xi Re-Establishes Strong Ties with Vietnam
Nov. 6 (EIRNS)–President Xi Jinping visited Vietnam on Thursday, dramatically restoring the close ties between the two nations which were badly damaged when Vietnam responded violently last year to the Chinese sending an exploratory oil drilling operation into territory claimed by Vietnam in the South China Sea. At the time, Vietnam sent military ships to challenge the oil rig, and violent riots erupted (or were staged) against Chinese-owned companies in Vietnam, destroying several and driving many Chinese to leave the country. Although Vietnam quickly recognized its blunder and the two countries have carefully restored relations, this visit lifted those relations to a much higher level.
It also demonstratied that Obama’s effort to rope Vietnam into his war plans against China, as with the subservient Philippine government, have failed.
In Xi’s speech to the National Assembly, he made no direct reference to the South China Sea, nor to the border war they fought in 1979, after Vietnam overthrew the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia (which had been supported by the “Gang of Four” during the Chinese Cultural Revolution). He referred to the “tests” of time, saying that their relations have now reached the level of strategic importance.
Most important, in speaking with Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Xi called for “achieving the common goal of joint exploitation” in the South China Sea, according to Xinhua. Xinhua added that “Both sides agreed to work together to settle differences at sea and preserve stable ties.”
The Vietnamese News Service reported that Trong “encouraged co-operation projects within the `two corridors, one belt’ framework (joork, which seeks to boost economic integration between southern China with northern Vietnam),” while also cooperating on China’s New Maritime Silk Road.
He welcomed the Chinese Government’s transfer of a $300 million concessional loan for the construction of the Mong Cai-Van Don highway project, its provision of another $250 million preferential loan for the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project, and $158 million over five years for schools and hospitals.
Trong proposed that China and Viet Nam “become the pioneers in implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) seriously and fully, and soon finalise the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC),” and to avoid “militarization of the South China Sea.” It is doubtful that Obama heard that message.