Update: 20:26 | 31/10/2022
General Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong was welcomed with a 21-gun salute during his official visit to China on Monday.
The welcoming ceremony for Trong and other high-ranking Vietnamese delegates, helmed by Trong’s Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, was held at the Great Hall of the People Monday afternoon, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
General Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (L) shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, October 31, 2022.
As the cars carrying Trong entered the Hall, 21 cannon shots followed as a salute. Xi then welcomed Trong, before the two countries’ leaders took a photo together. They and their delegates then held dialogues.
Trong and his delegates arrived in Beijing on Sunday, beginning the official visit until Tuesday. Chinese media reported that the visit would help bolster the two countries’ relations to new heights.
Professor Pan Jin'e from the School of Marxism under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Trong is the first foreign leader to visit China following the country’s 20th National Congress.
"The visit of General Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong will help the two countries boost their political credibility and relations on all aspects," Pan said.
Vietnam is China's largest commercial partner in ASEAN and sixth largest in the world.
The two countries' bilateral trade reached $165.8 billion in 2021, up 24.6% from 2020, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.