VietNamNet Bridge – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on October 11 separately received the Defence Ministers of China, the US and Japan, who are in Hanoi to attend the first ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+).
VN set for defence ministers meeting
PM Dung said he was pleased with the fine development of relations between Vietnam and the three nations, including the close and effective cooperation between the Vietnam People’s Army and its Chinese, US and Japanese counterparts, bringing practical results to both sides.
Receiving Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie, the PM expressed his delight at comprehensive and intensive developments in the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, saying the minister’s ongoing visit marks a vivid manifestation of the strength of this partnership.
He applauded the outcomes of the earlier talks between Liang and his Vietnamese counterpart Phung Quang Thanh, during which the ministers shared experiences in building up armed forces and discussed measures to increase the exchange of delegations and boost cooperation in training and offshore joint patrols.
Regarding the East Sea-related issue, the government leader said the two sides should hold negotiations in the spirit of comradeship and fraternity and in line with international law.
He said implementing the Hanoi Plan of Action to put into effect the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Vision Statement and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) would help maintain peace, stability and development cooperation in the East Sea.
PM Dung also expressed his hope that the two nations would find basic and long-term solutions acceptable to both sides as they had successfully dealt with the land border issue and the demarcation of the Tonkin Gulf.
For his part, Liang affirmed support for peace and security in the East Sea, believing that the two sides would satisfactorily address the issue on the basis of international law and the DOC, and not affect the bilateral relationship because China and Vietnam have experience in handling the land border issue.
While talking with US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, PM Dung said bilateral relations have grown fruitfully over the past 15 years, benefiting both nations, and that the Vietnamese Government wants to join hands with the US to build an equal partnership on the basis of reciprocal respect and benefit.
The PM spoke highly of defence cooperation between the two countries and urged the US and Vietnamese Defence Ministers to discuss issues of mutual concern, especially US assistance to Vietnam in training, rescue and mitigating natural disasters.
Mr Gates said US-Vietnam cooperative relations have seen great progress, particularly in searching for the remains of armed services personnel missing in action (MIA), bomb clearance, and Agent Orange/dioxin disinfection.
The secretary said the US cares about bomb and mine clearance and is willing to provide Vietnam with the latest technology to cleanse AO/dioxin, and thanked Vietnam for its help in seeking the MIA.
To elevate the bilateral relationship to a new level, Mr. Gates said the two nations should focus on important fields of cooperation such as defence policy dialogues, overcoming the aftermath of war, search and rescue, humanitarian aid, ensuring maritime security and safety and maintaining peace in years to come.
He affirmed that the US supports efforts to ensure security in the East Sea through diplomacy and peaceful dialogue among concerned nations.
During his reception for Japanese Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, PM Dung stressed the minister’s visit makes a practical contribution to the strategic cooperative partnership between Vietnam and Japan, as well as the success of the ADMM+.
The PM said in parallel with economic and cultural cooperation, Vietnam and Japan need to step up defence ties in the spirit of mutual respect for each other’s independence and sovereignty, with non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and no threats to the independence and sovereignty of any other states. The enhancement of Vietnam-Japan defence cooperation is aimed at maintaining peace and development, he emphasised.
Kitazawa praised Vietnam’s endeavours in hosting the first ADMM+, saying that this is a suitable mechanism for boosting defence and security cooperation amongst the ASEAN member nations with their partner and dialogue countries, laying the foundation for them to establish cooperative relations for peace, stability and development.