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Vietnam-China Friendship Association-a bridge strengthening relations between two countries

Mr Doan Manh Giao

55 years ago, on January 18, Vietnam and China officially established diplomatic ties, opening a new period in relations between the two countries. During the past 55 years, bilateral relations have increasingly developed. To mark the occasion, VOVNews held an interview with Doan Manh Giao, chairman of the Vietnam-China Friendship Association.

VOVNews: The Vietnam-China Association’s debut coincided when the two countries established diplomatic ties. As a bridge linking the two countries, what are the association’s contributions to help strengthen relations between Vietnam and China?

Mr Giao: In January 1950, China, the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries established diplomatic ties with Vietnam. China was the first country to recognise Vietnam as a democratic republic nation. One month later, under the instruction of the late President Ho Chi Minh, the Viet-Hoa Friendship Association was established, the precursor of the current Vietnam-China Friendship Association. A short time later, the Government and the Front launched a month of Vietnam-China-Russia friendship. The newly born association had an important task. During the past 55 years, in times of war or peace, the association has brought the diplomatic relationship into full play, helping to strengthen and promote friendly relations between the two countries.

Even in difficult times, the association still fulfilled its task, making significant contributions to nomalise the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and China.

In recent years, Vietnam-China bilateral relations have developed in all fields. In the new circumstances, the two countries have new co-operative opportunities and the association has developed both in quality and quantity. In the past 10 years, there have been 20 member associations across the country, and even in the most southern provinces such as Kien Giang and Ca Mau, there are associated organisations. Many Vietnamese enterprises which have traded with Chinese partners also joined the association, making its activities more dynamic.

The association has held diverse activities, including meetings, exchanges, exhibitions and publications on great events in the two countries’ histories, which attracted the participation of a lot of people. Through such events, people from the two countries gained deeper understandings of the culture and traditional customs, as well as the situation and development needs of the two countries, thus finding new co-operative opportunities. For example, meetings in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to mark the 50th and 55th anniversaries of the founding of the People’s Republic of China attracted thousands of senior students who studied in China. Other activities included a meeting to welcome Chinese war veterans to mark the 50th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory or exchanges with Chinese scientists, cultural researchers and actors and actresses, such as Zhao Wei. The association also published special issues on Vietnam-Chinese friendship relations, and launched a quiz on China for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

VOVNews: In recent years, co-operative relations between departments, organisations and provinces of the two countries have continuously developed. What are the association’s measures to further promote these activities, especially to promote its role as a bridge linking businesses from the two countries?

Mr Giao: The association has expanded relations with its Chinese partner. Currently, it has many partners at both central and provincial levels, particularly relations with Chinese associations in the southern border provinces. It also has very fine relations with Chinese diplomatic representatives and people, as well as businesses working in Vietnam.

The Vietnam-China Friendship Association and the China-Vietnam Friendship Association have signed a long-term co-operative agreement. China highly values our activities and the association also received valuable assistance from its Chinese partner.

To further promote friendly relations and mutual understanding, the association co-ordinated with many organisations at provincial levels, such as youth unions, women’s associations and war veterans’ associations to provide necessary information on the situation of the two countries as well as to organise fairs and exchanges.

While Vietnam and China are trying to develop their economies, the association has tried to become a bridge to help businesses from the two countries meet and seek co-operative opportunities. This is not easy work but very necessary and in fact, it has gained significant results. Therefore, in the near future the association will consider it one of its major tasks.

VOVNews: What are the main activities of the association to mark the 55th anniversary of Vietnam and China establishing diplomatic ties and to strengthen bilateral relations in the future?

Mr Giao: We will continue to develop the association and establish its members in all provinces across the countries. We will consolidate its structure and help the association develop more effectively and substantially. The association will organise a festival for local people in the border provinces from the two countries and continue to promote its role as the bridge linking businesses in the two countries. We plan to co-ordinate with the Chinese Business Association to hold a meeting among Chinese businesses working in Vietnam to help them remove difficulties and provide them with necessary information while investing in Vietnam.

The 55th anniversary of Vietnam and China establishing diplomatic ties is a good opportunity to review the association’s achievements and efforts to promote traditional friendly relations with China.

To mark the occasion, the association has directed provincial organisations to hold meetings and exchanges with Chinese people working in Vietnam, as well as hold exhibitions featuring China.

This year also marks the 55th founding anniversary of the association and we have launched an emulation programme.

The friendly relationship between the two countries had been built and developed by senior revolutionists, and the Vietnam-China Friendship Association will do its best to further develop it.

VOVNews: Thank you very much.

VOV - (19/01/2005)

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