Feature: China, Vietnam forge stronger ties as leaders join hands for shared future

(Xinhua) 11:24, December 15, 2023

HANOI, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- In international relations, where formal handshakes are the norm, the rarity of leaders holding hands makes such moments emblematic of a genuinely strong bond and sincere relationship.

As fingers entwine, a silent language speaks volumes. It is a narrative of unity, trust, and a shared future.

Such a hand-in-hand moment unfolded when Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chinese president, met General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong on all occasions during Xi's just concluded state visit to Vietnam.

Through their lenses, journalists captured and then presented to the global audience the touching and unforgettable moments of an enduring and profound bond between the two parties, two countries and their peoples.

Before his visit to Vietnam, Xi had already voiced his deep affinity for the country upon setting foot in Vietnam for the third time in his current role, writing in a signed article published by a Vietnamese newspaper that he was "already immersed in the warmth that people would only have when visiting relatives and neighbors."

This sentiment was palpable in every on-the-scene snapshot and video clip by journalists during the visit, which captured both leaders with radiant smiles, their hands firmly clasped in unity.

Shortly after landing in Hanoi on Tuesday, Xi received a grand welcoming ceremony hosted by Trong at the Presidential Palace before they travelled to the premises of the CPV Central Committee for talks.

It was during the talks that the two general secretaries announced the decision to build a China-Vietnam community with a shared future that carries strategic significance on the basis of strengthening their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

As they later jointly examined the documents signed across over 30 areas of bilateral cooperation with hands clasped, they resembled two close brothers reflecting on their shared past endeavors and eagerly anticipating broader prospects for the future.

During the visit, Trong once again invited Xi for a small-group chat over tea. Over the years, from the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to the Ho Chi Minh Residence in Hanoi, then to the premises of the CPV Central Committee and the Hanoi National Convention Center, the two general secretaries used the shared tea culture of China and Vietnam as a conduit for meaningful and close exchanges, fostering a deeper mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations.

During their chat over tea, Trong presented Xi with a special gift, a framed illustration featuring both of them together.

"This is created by a talented artist from the southern city of Ho Chi Minh ... The item may not be of the highest quality," Trong said in a modest manner often adopted by Asian people.

"But what is truly valuable is the brotherly bond," he added, grasping Xi's hand and showing Xi the illustration.

During Xi's visit, both leaders quoted on several occasions late Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh's well-known remarks, which defined China-Vietnam relations as a bond of "camaraderie plus brotherhood."

What impressed him most, Xi said Wednesday afternoon when bidding farewell to Trong, was the latter's repeated emphasis that the China-Vietnam bond of "camaraderie plus brotherhood" is the starting point and foundation of the China-Vietnam relationship.

Before wrapping up his state visit Wednesday afternoon, Xi and Trong met here with representatives of young Chinese and Vietnamese and people who have contributed to the China-Vietnam friendship.

With a radiant smile on his face, Trong asked the crowd why such a meeting was arranged during Xi's historic visit.

"Because we hope to entrust the responsibility of promoting the Vietnamese-Chinese friendship to the younger generations of both countries. Do you all agree?" the Vietnamese leader said, posing a rhetorical question.

Applause erupted immediately. Seated nearby, Xi smiled broadly as he looked at his old friend.

The foundation of China-Vietnam friendship lies among our two peoples, and the future of this friendship will be created by the young people, Xi said in his speech.

"I hope that you will carry forward China-Vietnam friendship and play your part in building a China-Vietnam community with a shared future that carries strategic significance," he added.

In his signed article published before the visit, Xi quoted lyrics of a popular Chinese song on Asian unity: "In our Asia, the roots of trees are linked; in our Asia, even clouds drift hand in hand."

"The lyrics reflect the Chinese people's basal perception of Asia as a community with a shared future," Xi wrote then.

As Xi concluded his visit to Vietnam, which in his words represented the successful culmination of China's diplomatic efforts this year, the indelible image of the leaders of both parties clasping hands will be embedded in the collective memory.

It stands not just as a visual representation, but also a symbol of shared commitment to working for a shared future.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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