Vietnamese communist leader visits China to improve political ties

The leader of Vietnam's ruling Communist Party arrived in Beijing on Tuesday on a trip to improve warming ties between the communist neighbors, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Nong Duc Manh was due to meet with President Hu Jintao, who also is general secretary of China's Communist Party, and other leaders.

The two sides say they want the visit to promote growing trade and political ties but haven't given any other details of what the leaders will discuss, the AP reports. 

It is Manh's first foreign trip since April, when he was elected to a second five-year term as general secretary of Vietnam's ruling party. Hu visited Vietnam last year.

"The visit, which takes place at a time when Vietnam-China relations have seen positive developments, allows the leaders of the two parties to strengthen mutual understanding and promote comprehensive cooperation," the Vietnamese Communist Party newspaper Nhan Dan said Tuesday.

China is Vietnam's top trading partner, with two-way bilateral trade reaching US$8.7 billion last year.