China's Xi says treasures friendship with Vietnam, despite dispute

February 11, 2015 12:34 PM

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China's Xi says treasures friendship with Vietnam, despite dispute

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday told the head of Vietnam's ruling Communist Party he treasured the two nations' traditional friendship, but disagreements needed careful handling to ensure regional stability amid an ugly dispute.

Communist parties rule both countries and trade has swelled to $50 billion annually, but Vietnam has long been suspicious of its giant neighbor, especially over China's increasingly assertive claims to almost the entire South China Sea.

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