BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping (pic) will visit neighbouring Vietnam next week to push for deeper ties between the socialist neighbours, Beijing's foreign ministry said on Thursday (Dec 7).
Xi's state visit will take place next Tuesday and Wednesday (Dec 12-13), foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement.
The Chinese president was invited by Vietnam's top leaders Nguyen Phu Trong and Vo Van Thuong, she added.
Xi will meet with Vietnam's top leadership and "discuss bringing China-Vietnam relations to a higher position", Beijing said.
"We will push for deepening and solidifying the comprehensive strategic cooperation between the two countries," foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.
"The world is currently in a new period of turbulence and change, with increasing instability and uncertainty," he added.
"Strengthening unity and friendship and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation are in the common interests of both parties."
Xi's trip follows a visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi earlier this month in which he hailed the countries' "same ideals and a shared future", according to a foreign ministry readout.
They will focus on "politics, security, practical cooperation, the formation of public opinion, multilateral issues and maritime issues", Wang Wenbin said.
Vietnam, which fought a war with China between 1979 and 1988, is wary of its giant northern neighbour, and is one of a handful of countries with claims on the many islets and outcrops that dot the South China Sea.
Beijing claims almost the entire sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually, and has ignored an international court ruling that its assertion has no legal basis. - AFP