Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Xi Arrives to Woo Vietnam Comrades and Reverse Drift to U.S.

  • Chinese leader makes state visit amid South China Sea tensions
  • Rare protest outside Chinese consulate ahead of his arrival
The Vietnamese version of Chinese President Xi Jinping's book on governance, in Hanoi, on Nov. 4.

The Vietnamese version of Chinese President Xi Jinping's book on governance, in Hanoi, on Nov. 4.

Source: Xinhua/Le Yanna via Getty Images
Updated on

When President Xi Jinping lays a wreath at the hulking Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi this week, he’ll be reminding Vietnam of the country’s shared communist lineage and Cold War partnership battling the U.S.

Xi’s visit Thursday -- the first by a Chinese president in a decade -- will emphasize growing economic bonds between the neighbors, with China accounting for one-fifth of Vietnam’s trade last year, up from 12 percent in 2005. He’ll also face a public wary of China’s growing influence and its assertiveness in the South China Sea that’s exacerbating a decades-long spat over territory, fishing grounds and drilling rights. Only 19 percent of Vietnamese hold favorable views on China, a Pew Research Center poll shows.