Defense Minister Wei Fenghe (right) and his Vietnamese counterpart Phan Van Giang (center) meet with people on April 24 in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam. (LI XIAOWEI / FOR CHINA DAILY)
The Chinese military is willing to work with the Vietnamese military to strengthen border connectivity and deepen cooperation, Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said while meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart on Saturday in Dongxing, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
The two defense ministers co-chaired the Sixth China-Vietnam Border Defense Friendship Exchange on Saturday in Dongxing.
The friendship exchange, which also had activities in Binh Lieu, in Vietnam's Quang Ninh province, aims to strengthen political trust, friendship and cooperation between border forces, authorities and people in the border areas of the two countries.
Wei and newly appointed Vietnamese Defense Minister Phan Van Giang, who took office in January, held talks on Saturday morning in which the two sides also signed a memorandum of continued research cooperation between the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences and the Vietnam National Defense Strategy Institute.
Wei said the two countries have deepened their comprehensive strategic partnership in recent years thanks to the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and the "Two Corridors and One Economic Circle" plan, a connectivity initiative involving Vietnam and China.
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China has been Vietnam's biggest trade partner for 17 consecutive years and Vietnam has also been China's biggest trade partner in Southeast Asia for five years
China has been Vietnam's biggest trade partner for 17 consecutive years and Vietnam has also been China's biggest trade partner in Southeast Asia for five years, bringing tangible economic benefits to the two peoples, he said.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and Vietnam have also worked closely to fight the pandemic and donated medical supplies to each other, he said, adding that no single case of cross-border transmission between China and Vietnam has been reported.
China and Vietnam are a community sharing a high degree of strategic significance. They are among the few socialist countries in the world, and maintaining the leadership of the Communist Party and consolidating political security are also the two countries' primary common interests.
The two countries' defense ministries started the high-level exchange in 2014 and the activity has helped increase border friendship and cooperation and promote people's well-being with dynamic border trade, he said.
The Chinese military will continue to work with Vietnam to implement mechanisms, strengthen border connectivity, deepen military cooperation and improve pandemic control so as to push border cooperation to a higher level and add momentum to the development of relations between the two militaries, he added.
Phan Van Giang said history and practice have proved that friendship and cooperation are the mainstay of the development of relations between the two countries. Vietnam has always valued the support given by the Chinese military, government and people during the Vietnamese revolution and the struggle for national independence.
At the 13th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam this year, Vietnam listed as a top priority further promoting the foreign policy of friendship between the two countries, he said.
The Vietnamese military is also willing to further enhance political mutual trust with China and strengthen cooperation in joint patrols, responses to natural disasters, epidemic prevention and control and cultural exchanges to effectively maintain security, stability and prosperity in the border areas, he added.
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