At a meeting with Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh reaffirmed Vietnam’s consistent viewpoint of wanting to boost strategic partnership with India, which includes defence as a pillar.
Sen. Lieut. Gen. Vinh, who is head of the Vietnamese delegation to the dialogue, asked India to continue helping Vietnam in defence training and defence industry.
Minister Antony stressed increasing relations with Vietnam is a priority in India’s Look East policy.
He expressed his wish that Vietnam will support India at multilateral forums.
The two sides agreed to work closely together to organise the deputy defence ministerial level dialogue in India later this year.
The Vietnamese Deputy Minister conveyed an invitation to visit Vietnam from Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh to the Indian Minister.
Minister Antony accepted the invitation with pleasure.
At the bilateral meetings, the Vietnamese delegation and its partners shared their viewpoints on regional security, including the East Sea issue, along with measures to promote defence co-operation.
They emphasised the importance of maritime safety and freedom and agreed on the need to solve peacefully issues in the East Sea in accordance with international laws, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), as well as regional commitments reached by ASEAN member countries and partner nations.
Agreeing with the countries’ viewpoints, Sen. Lieut. Gen. Vinh noted that consensus in understanding and interpretation of international laws is needed in order to avoid “double standard”.
The Vietnamese chief delegate also affirmed that coastal countries’ sovereignty right over the economic exclusive zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles must be strictly observed.
He added that while no use of force or threat to use force is the prerequisite condition, countries should not use or threaten to use “soft” strength such as economic blockage while solving disputes at sea.
Disputes on sovereignty at sea need to be solved directly between concerned parties and in a public and transparent manner in an international environment”, Sen. Lieut. Gen. Vinh said.
This year’s Shangri-La Dialogue 11 opened Singapore on June 2. The two-day event focuses on a series of urgent issues in Asia and the Pacific such as the involvement of powers, maritime security.