Aerial photo taken on Aug. 14, 2022 shows a railway freight hub in Pingxiang City, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Huang Xiaobang)
Nanning/Hanoi, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) — In Pingxiang, a border district of southern China’s Chongzuo City in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, trucks and containers carrying fruit, construction materials and industrial equipment are waiting in line to cross the China-Vietnam border.
The district, with about 130,000 inhabitants, has seen rapid growth in trade and even closer practical cooperation between the two neighboring countries in recent years, which also gave a strong boost to local trade and economic development and brought more benefits to the population of both countries.
After China and Vietnam normalized their relations more than 30 years ago, they forged a comprehensive strategic partnership on cooperation in 2008, and the two countries communicate at all levels and work together to improve synergy in development strategies, facilitate practical cooperation, promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges and promotion of regional connectivity.
Through joint efforts, the cooperation between the two countries is continuously progressing. China remains Vietnam’s largest trading partner and second largest export destination, while Vietnam remains China’s largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Bilateral cooperation in areas such as investment, infrastructure and green energy has also flourished.
Visitors buy products from Vietnam during the 19th China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 18, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhang Ailin)
China’s customs statistics showed that trade between the two countries increased by 19.7% to US$230.2 billion in 2021, the first time in history that it exceeded the US$200 billion mark. It’s a hard-earned achievement amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a staggering global economy.
The growing cross-border fruit trade is one of the new highlights of bilateral trade in recent years. Thanks to fast shipping, cold chain logistics and the development of e-commerce, Vietnam’s fruit exports to China have increased rapidly year by year, and the Sino-Vietnamese border city of Chongzuo has become the largest fruit import and export city on the border with China.
In the third quarter of this year, Chongzuo’s foreign trade volume jumped to 78.12 billion yuan (US$10.6 billion), an annual increase of nearly 50%.
On September 19, after years of small-scale trade in border areas, fresh durians from Vietnam were officially exported to China for the first time, offering new opportunities to the country’s durian growers, packers and growers.
Nguyen Tat Quyen, the director of the company, said that the Chinese market, apart from its gigantic size, has another great advantage, which is the proximity to Vietnam and the ease of transportation by road, sea and air.
During the 14th meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation in July, the two sides agreed to strengthen Belt and Road cooperation, work together to build a mechanism to ensure and promote the stability of industrial and supply chains, strengthen port construction and facilitate customs clearance.
Photo taken on Nov. 6, 2021 shows Cat Linh Station in Hanoi, Vietnam. (VNA via Xinhua)
As a flagship project of Belt and Road cooperation, the China-built Cat Linh-Ha Dong subway project in Hanoi, the first of its kind in the Southeast Asian country, has transported millions of Vietnamese since commercial operation began in November last year.
The subway project made it much easier for residents to move along the route. Many residents began to abandon the traditional way of traveling by motorcycle and opted for the subway.
“By taking these trains, I will no longer have to worry about traffic jams every morning on my way to work,” said Hoang Thi Huong, a 30-year-old commuter from Hanoi’s Thanh Xuan district, hoping that more urban rail projects would be built. facilitated transportation in the city.
In the last few years, we have witnessed the growing friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries. An increasing number of Chinese films and TV series have gained popularity in Vietnam, while growing bilateral ties have increasingly attracted Vietnamese students to study and work in China.
“As a Vietnamese student in China, I know both countries and hope to help promote exchanges and make the two countries understand each other better,” said Nguyen Huyen Trang, a medical student at Guangxi University in China.
Seeing China’s good prospects for development, Nguyen said he plans to find a job related to China-Vietnam medical cooperation and stay in Guangxi. “The experience of studying in China will give me more advantages in this regard,” he added.