The second Vietnam-China defence-security strategic dialogue at deputy ministerial level took place in Beijing on Aug. 28, evaluating the satisfactory progress in the two countries’ relations.
Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defence Minister of Vietnam , and Sen. Lieut. Gen. Ma Xiaotian, Vice Chief of the General Staff of China People’s Liberation Army, jointly chaired the dialogue.
Addressing the dialogue, the co-chairs agreed that under the guidance of the 16-word motto of “friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive cooperation, durable stability and looking toward the future” and the four good spirits of “good neighbours, good friends, food comrades and food partners”, relations between the two Parties and States continued to develop in line with the framework of the comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership.
The two countries’ economic and trade ties developed rapidly, cultural and people-to-people exchanges continued to be expanded and defence cooperation saw strong steps of development. The two sides regularly exchanged delegations at all levels with aim of creating mutual trust and understanding as well as building close ties between the two armies.
Cooperation between naval, border guard forces and border military zones was elevated and joint sea and land patrols provided good results.
At the dialogue, the two sides were unanimous in continuing to accelerate cooperation in many areas, including exchange of delegations, early establishment of a hotline between the two defence ministries, and expansion of the long and short-term training.
China also agreed to share experience with Vietnam in participating in the UN peacekeeping force.
The two sides stressed the need to accelerate information dissemination in order to allow Vietnamese and Chinese soldiers and people to fully understand the traditional friendship and practical cooperation for mutual benefit between the two armies and peoples.
In the spirit of construction of comradeship and fraternity, Lieut. Gen. Vinh and Sen. Lieut. Gen Ma discussed issues of differences in the two countries’ relations in a straight-forward manner.
According to Ma, the most difficult and sensitive issue in the two countries’ ties is the sovereignty dispute in the East Sea . The two countries need to solve the issue in a satisfactory manner for the sake of the overall situation of Vietnam-China relations and stability in the region.
Lieut. Gen. Vinh affirmed Vietnam always attaches importance to the overall situation of the relationship with China , saying that the East Sea issue has three closely-related aspects, namely the declaration of sovereignty by concerned countries, solving issues related to the ties between Vietnam and China , and solving issues at multilateral forums.
He said that issues in the East Sea need to be solved in accordance with international law. International issues according to the Law of the Sea must be solved internationally, issues relating to many countries need to be solved among those countries, and issues relating to two countries need to be solved bilaterally.
The Vietnamese Deputy Minister also shared his view that to defend and build the country, there is only one way that is to maintain independence – self-reliance, territorial sovereignty and good relations with the world community, and without relying on a country to fight another country.
He highlighted the need to publicise and provide transparent information at forums to help the two countries’ people and the international community to better understand the East Sea issue as part of the general friendship between the two countries.
“Having full and exact information is the need of over 80 million Vietnamese people and more than 1.35 billion Chinese people,” he said.
Vietnam is ready to cooperate for mutual development with China in really disputed areas in line with regulations of international law, and in the long term the country will seek solutions acceptable for both sides, but “at a time when boundaries have not yet been codified, the two sides should absolutely avoid the use of force and should not even consider the use of force,” Vinh said.
The two sides also discussed situations in the Middle East, North Africa and the Asia-Pacific.
On this occasion, Sen. Lieut. Gen. Liang Guanglie, Defence Minister of China, received the high-ranking Vietnamese military delegation.
He reaffirmed the wish to solve issues of difference between the two countries in the East Sea by peaceful measures and said that the fine outcomes of the dialogue will create a driving force to boost defence cooperation between the two countries, contributing to strengthening and developing the two countries’ friendship and solidarity./.