"A close neighbor can be more helpful than a relative living far away." China and Vietnam are adjacent to each other, just like a song known both to the Chinese and Vietnamese people, "Vietnam-China, mountains are connected with mountains, and rivers are linked with rivers..." Having a similar history, both nations suffered from imperialist aggression and oppression and waged protracted bloody struggles for national independence and liberation. The two peoples have not only enjoyed a long-standing traditional friendship, but also fostered comradeship by standing side by side and giving each other sympathy and support in the course of their socialist revolution and construction. We are "brotherly states" and "comrades plus brothers," just as the late Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh said. The friendship, nurtured by late Chinese leader Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh, has grown in all aspects and is cherished by the parties and peoples of the two countries.
Although bilateral relations experienced some setbacks, the two peoples have always shown friendly sentiments toward each other. In November 1991, acting in accordance with the development of the international situation and the common wish and basic interests of the two peoples, the leaders of the two countries realized the normalization of bilateral relations. Reality has evidenced that the choice by the leaders was correct and timely. During the past decade and more, bilateral cooperative ties have seen great progress, and cooperation and exchanges in all fields have been increasingly strengthened. The volume of two-way trade has jumped from US$30 million to US$3 billion in just a few years, and joint construction projects have brought or will bring huge benefits to the two countries and their people. Frequent high-level reciprocal visits, candid and profound exchanges of views on internal, international and major issues concerning bilateral ties have prompted the development of relations and just and reasonable settlement of problems left over by history, including border dispute. The two sides have formulated the principles guiding the development of their relations in the new century. The principles aim at achieving long-term stability, good-neighborliness and friendship and all-round cooperation and are future oriented. Three months ago, (Vietnamese) General Secretary Nong Duc Manh successfully visited China, and I held fruitful talks yesterday with General Secretary Nong Duc Manh and President Tran Duc Luong. The two countries agreed to push their traditional friendship to a new high in the new century.
To this end, the two neighbors must stick to the mentioned principles, as they are worked out after summing up historical experiences and represent the direction of the development of bilateral relations.
Thanks to the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people are making strenuous efforts to build their own motherland, which has undergone tremendous and profound changes during the past five decades, especially during the recent 20 years of reform and opening-up drive. Facts have shown that only by combining the basic principles of Marxism with the practical conditions of individual countries can the driving vitality and outstanding advantage of socialism be manifested. It is also beyond proof that socialism will be realized by sticking to one country's chosen path for national development, by holding the principles of liberalizing ideology, exercising practicality and realism, keeping pace with the times, and with the spirit of pioneering and creation.
The Chinese people have set an ambitious goal of building China into a prosperous, democratic and civilized socialist country that will enjoy modernization by the middle of this century, and they are striving for the great renaissance of the Chinese nation. In the new century, as China has entered a new stage of national development, the Chinese government is determined to carry on its reform and opening-up policy by fulfilling the major tasks of development, structural readjustment and improving the Chinese people's living standard based on reform and opening-up and scientific advancement.
However, in spite of outstanding achievements China made during its modernization drive, China is still a developing country, which hopes to benefit from peaceful and harmonious circumstances both in neighboring countries and the world as a whole. Therefore, China will stick to its independent foreign policy of peace and peaceful co-existence with all other countries in the world, especially its neighbors, based on the five principles of peaceful co-existence and mutual benefit and cooperation. We will continue to observe the policy even when China becomes a strong country in the future.
The Communist Party of Vietnam is a seasoned and experienced party that constantly brings forth new ideas, and the Vietnamese people are wise and industrious. We believe the Vietnamese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, will realize the strategic Goals for national development and build Vietnam into a socialist industrialized country. China will, as always, support Vietnam in its drive for rejuvenation, prosperity and development.
The development in multi-polarization and economic globalization, and the rapid advance in science and technology have provided an impetus to the progress of human society. However, the gap between the rich and the poor is growing wider, the old international political and economic order has not been altered, and racial and religious conflicts are taking place here and there all the time. In this sense, the developing countries still have an arduous task in maintaining national sovereignty, security and interest. The developing countries are facing more challenges as well as opportunities.
All nations should work together to establish a just, rational and new international political and economic order, to push forward the democratization of international relations, and to discuss and exploit new ways for cooperation. The developing countries in particular should take full advantage of natural and human resources to boost their capacity of development.
The growth of young people is closely related to the future and fate of their country and nation. In the case of China and Vietnam, both socialist countries not rich at present, young people should carry on the revolutionary spirit of their predecessors by studying and working hard to consolidate and develop the socialist system for the prosperity of their motherland.
Young people should shape a world vision to follow world development and raise their capacity of practice and the level of cognition. In the present world, new knowledge keeps cropping up and mankind's ability of understanding nature, society and mankind itself has been greatly enhanced. Productivity created throughout the world during the past 100 years outweighs all what had been produced up to 100 years ago. One of the fundamental reasons for the rapid growth in productivity is the fast development in science and technology. In the 21st century, new revolutionary breakthroughs in science and technology will push forward the development of productivity and profoundly affect the development process of world politics, economy and culture.
Chinese and Vietnamese young people should cherish, maintain and promote good Sino- Vietnamese relations, conduct more exchanges and learn from each other to promote mutual understanding so as to shoulder the historic responsibility of developing Sino-Vietnamese ties. The Communist Party of China and the Chinese Government support the young people of the two countries in their friendly exchanges and hope that the momentum of such activities will be maintained and more young people will be attracted to the cause of developing Sino-Vietnamese friendship.