Hanoi welcomes President Xi to opening of Vietnam-China Friendship Palace
The Vietnam-China Friendship Palace in Hanoi was opened on Sunday afternoon with special guest Chinese President Xi Jinping in attendance.
The Chinese president, who landed a couple of hours earlier for an official visit, was accompanied by Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, chairwoman of Vietnam’s legislative National Assembly.
The palace features Chinese architectural styles and the iconic Vietnamese lotus flower in its design.
It includes a 1,500-seat theater, a conference room and a tea room, as well as space for learning about Chinese medicine.
Vietnamese and Chinese leaders approved the project in 2004 and work started in March 2015 at a cost of nearly VND800 billion ($35.2 million), two thirds of which was funded by China.
The Vietnam-China Friendship Palace in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Hong Hanh
Xi landed in Hanoi before noon on Sunday for a two-day visit.
The palace tour will be followed by an official reception and a state dinner hosted by Vietnam’s Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong and President Tran Dai Quang.
Vietnam is Xi’s first overseas destination after he was granted another five years as China’s Party General Secretary at the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress in October.
The Vienamese ambassador to Beijing said the visit will help deepen ties between Vietnam and its giant neighbor, and “guide the comprenhensive strategic partnership to a new level”.
Xi has just attended the APEC Summit in Da Nang, around 800 kilometers (500 miles) south of Hanoi, where he delivered a speech on globalization which he said is an “irreversible” trend, countering U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist speech.