A groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam-China Friendship Palace project kicked off here on Tuesday. Present at the ceremony were Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Kong Xuanyou, Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) Chairman Vu Xuan Hong, Chairman of Vietnam- China Friendship Association Nguyen Xuan Thang, and many Vietnamese high ranking officials from Foreign Ministry, Construction Ministry and Hanoi People\'s Committee. Addressing at the ceremony, VUFO Chairman Vu Xuan Hong said Chinese government had decided to present Vietnam- China Friendship Palace to the Vietnamese people as China wanted to provide Vietnamese people a better place for conducting friendship, cultural exchange activities between the two countries and other international events. Kong Xuanyou said the palace project aims to promote mutual understanding, cooperation and deepen the friendship ties between the two countries. The palace is a significant political and cultural project and a vivid symbol of the friendship between Vietnam and China in the new era, VUFO Chairman and Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam shared the view. The palace covers an area of 3.3 hectares at Le Quang Dao Boulevard in Tu Liem district. The project is estimated to cost about 140 million Yuan (22.8 million U.S. dollars) and expected to complete in 20 months. The site for the palace was identified during the visit of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Vietnam in October 2004.