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China says wants to mend ties with Vietnam: Xinhua

Published on Aug 28, 2014 12:32 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's President Xi Jinping told a special envoy from Vietnam on Wednesday that both countries should be "friendly to each other" to help mend ties after a flare-up over sovereignty in the South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The visit to Beijing by Le Hongh Anh, a member of the Vietnamese Communist Party's powerful politburo, is the first sign of a concerted effort to heal the rift between the two countries, which share annual trade worth US$50 billion (S62.35 billion).

"(I) hope the Vietnamese will make joint efforts with the Chinese to put the bilateral relationship back on the right track of development," Xinhua quoted Mr Xi as telling Mr Le Hong Anh. "A neighbour cannot be moved away and it is in the common interests of both sides to be friendly to each other."

Earlier, Mr Liu Yunshan, a member of China's elite Politburo Standing Committee, was quoted by Xinhua as telling the visitor that both sides should bring bilateral relations back on track.

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