Passing the Chang Jiang
PANO – When the special plane carrying Vietnamese State President Truong Tan Sang and his entourage was flying over the Chang Jiang River, which looks like a silk ribbon stretching across China, I suddenly recalled a poem of the Tang Dynasty poet Du Pu describing the beauty of this great river of China thousands of years ago.
At that time, it took months to travel from the South up to the North of China, crossing the rapids of the Chang Jiang. Today, after just several hours flying from Hanoi, the Vietnamese delegation arrived in Beijing amidst the solemn reception of the host country.
It was really solemn! 21 cannon salvos welcoming President Truong Tan Sang at the square to the east of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the afternoon of June 19th not only showed the respect of the host country to the Vietnamese leader, but also proved that the equality and the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Vietnam and China have been realized, with the highest diplomatic ceremony given from the Chinese side to the Vietnamese high-ranking state delegation.
The summer in Beijing was hot. Tiananmen Square was crowded with local people and foreign tourists, gathering in groups, talking and smiling. Beijing people’s faces all seemed to be smiling. Chinese youths dress fashionably with colourful clothes, different from old Chinese films. Chang An Avenue, with 12 lanes running across Tiananmen, is busy with cars of famous automobile trademarks worldwide. Tall buildings in Beijing downtown reached low clouds over the city.
Decades of practising the open-door policy have helped speed up China’s economy growth to a spectacular rate. It is undeniable that the growth rate was reached on a launching pad of social stability and convenient regional and international environment.
Being in the crucial period of renewal, both Vietnam and China have urgent demands for a peaceful and friendly atmosphere. The report at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China highlighted the motto to promote friendship and partnership, consolidate friendly relations and deepen mutually beneficially cooperation with neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s consistent policy is to pursue the foreign policy of independence and self-reliance in the spirit of being a friend and a reliable partner of all countries.
State President Truong Tan Sang’s state visit to China is a new development step in the political trust and friendship between Vietnam and China.
In short, the word “confidence” is very necessary in the Vietnam – China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership today.
Results of trust
That “confidence” word only exists through open and frank discussions, including on issues that are considered “sensitive” or different between the two countries.
For example, in the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Truong Tan Sang stressed that the two sides should increase coordination and appropriately settle issues relating activities of the fishermen who live and work peacefully on the East Sea.
Before his visit to China, President Truong Tan Sang had many meetings with Vietnamese fishermen. Many of them rely on seafaring and their families live on fishing in Vietnam’s sea. When incidents happen, not only do the fishermen have troubles, but also their relatives have to suffer from these.
Therefore, solving these issues in the spirit of ensuring everyone’s interests and legitimate rights is close to the life of millions of Vietnamese and Chinese fishermen. It is good news that during President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to China, the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Chinese Ministry of Agriculture signed an agreement on establishing a hotline for issues emerged during fishing activities in the sea.
This is good news for fishermen and it also shows that, based on mutual trust, the two sides can reach mutually beneficial agreements on, at first, less sensitive issues.
And even with the sensitive issues like disputes in the East Sea, from the strategic height and friendship, the two sides discussed openly and agreed to maintain regular dialogues; seriously observe the Agreement on the Basic Principles Guiding the Settlement of Maritime Issues between Vietnam and China, signed during Communist Party of Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to China in October 2011; settling disputes through peaceful measures, basing on international law, seeking and discussing basis solutions accepted by the two sides; and settling in a satisfactory manner emerging issues, not letting them influence the healthy development of the two countries’ relations as well as peace and stability in the East Sea.
Those are just some examples to prove that trust can bring benefits for both sides.
Up a floor, view a thousand miles
Leaving Beijung, President Truong Tan Sang and the Vietnamese delegation once again passed the Chang Jiang, heading south to the well-off Guangdong. This is the very route that President Ho Chi Minh travelled in the days he struggled to find a way to liberate Vietnam.
The Vietnam – China friendship, built by previous generations, needs to be nurtured by today’s offspring. The past is the foundation for the present. And, the future is moulded by what the two countries do today, including the confidence and determination of the leaders and peoples of the two countries.
Yes, thousands of years ago, another poet, Wang Zhihuan, in the Tang Dynasty, wrote that if you want to see thousand miles away, you should go up a floor.
That profound philosophy is fine to compare to the state visit of President Truong Tan Sang and the Vietnamese delegation to China this time. The visit has helped bring the Vietnam – China relations to a new height so that the two sides can broaden their sights and see more opportunities for integration and peaceful development.
Through open and frank discussions with Chinese leaders over issues of concern, President Truong Tan Sang reiterated Vietnam’s desire for a peaceful and friendly atmosphere, an indispensable condition for China to realize its “China’s dream” and for Vietnam to thrive to become an industrialized country by 2020.
Those goals are built on a basic foundation: The word “confidence” in Vietnam – China relations.
Written by Van Yen
Translated by Ngoc Hung