Exhibition Takes Place As Both Countries Commemorate 60 Years Of Diplomatic Ties Amid Growing Tensions About Hainan Development#
This year, China and Vietnam are commemorating 60 years of diplomatic relations with a series of cultural events that includes performances by Chinese dance troupes and an exhibition of around 60 paintings and works of calligraphy by both Chinese and Vietnamese artists in Ho Chi Minh City. As VOV wrote this week, this cultural exchange series will kick off "Vietnam-China Friendship Year 2010," which the Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Sun Guoxiang said earlier this month is designed to "enhance and consolidate" his country's relations with Vietnam. As Tran Chien Thang, vice culture, sports and tourism minister of Vietnam, told Xinhua:
"The exhibition is a great opportunity for the two peoples to share their splendid culture. It will help consolidate traditional friendship between the two countries."
Press on both sides of the border have described the "Vietnam-China Friendship Year" as a way to highlight shared interests and cultural common ground while minimizing the fallout from protracted disputes in the East Sea. From DTI News:
Series of political, economic and commercial celebrations will be held in the two countries to enrich the contents of the strategic partnership for comprehensive cooperation.
Also in 2010, a delegation of Chinese cadres who once worked with President Ho Chi Minh will visit Vietnam and share with Vietnamese youths their memories with the great leader.
Recalling the development of the relationship during the past sixty years, [Ambassador] Sun Gouxiang sorted out three grounds that have driven the bilateral relationship: mutual respect and understanding; equality and mutual interests; and for great work.
It will be interesting to see if the "Friendship Year" accomplishes its stated goal of bringing both sides closer together through cultural exchanges. As we wrote earlier this month, China's plans to invest heavily in a Hainan island development initiative have upset many in Vietnam and stoked some long-simmering issues that have threatened Sino-Vietnamese relations over the years.