CGTN: China, Vietnam eye closer people-to-people bonds

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(Adnkronos) – BEIJING, Dec. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Within the framework of the 15th Vietnam-China International Trade and Tourism Fair, an antiphonal singing exchange activity was held on Beilun River, the border river between China and Vietnam, on November 30. Chinese and Vietnamese singers performed songs praising the close friendship between the people of the two countries. As socialist countries and friendly neighbors, China and Vietnam have witnessed over seven decades of diplomatic ties with close bonds between the two peoples. Long-standing friendship Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo told China Media Group that there are many favorable conditions for people-to-people exchanges between China and Vietnam. With similar historical and cultural heritages, Vietnamese people are very familiar with Chinese history and Confucianism, and contemporary Chinese films as well as TV series are very popular among Vietnamese, he said. To boost mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, China and Vietnam have emphasized the importance of work on educational cooperation. Zheng Dawei, education counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, said over 50 higher education institutions in Vietnam offer Chinese language departments or majors, with 15,000 students studying Chinese at the higher education level. According to a joint statement on deepening China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership issued last year, China announced that in the next five years, it will offer Vietnam over 1,000 Chinese Government Scholarships and more than 1,000 International Chinese Language Teachers Scholarships, helping Vietnam train high-level talents and Chinese language teachers. From 2021 to 2022, over 27,000 Vietnamese students studied in China, with more than 1,700 of them receiving Chinese Government Scholarships, said Ambassador Xiong. Xiong said the foundation of public opinion between both sides needs to be further strengthened. The two sides should place greater importance on strengthening the China-Vietnam friendship, he noted. More people-to-people exchanges expected After the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong was the first foreign leader invited for a visit to China. At the invitation of Trong and Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong, Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Vietnam from December 12 to 13. The leaders will discuss upgrading China-Vietnam relations and focus on six major areas – politics, security, practical cooperation, public support, multilateral affairs and maritime issues – Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing. During a meeting with Thuong in October, who was in Beijing for the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi said the two countries should continue to forge closer bonds between the two peoples, especially among the younger generation, so as to pass on the traditional friendship from generation to generation. The Vietnamese are also expecting closer bond between the two peoples. Le Nguyet Quynh, second prize winner of the 16th Chinese Bridge — Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students, said she has been studying Chinese for six years, and is looking forward to President Xi's upcoming visit. "I hope that after this visit, there will be more opportunities for the youth of the two countries to communicate with each other and enhance our bond," said Le.
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