75th founding anniversary of Vietnamese army celebrated abroad hinh anh 1Head of the Vietnamese defence attaché office in Cambodia, Col. Nguyen Thanh Chinh, addresses the ceremony in Phnom Penh on December 16 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Ceremonies were held in Cambodia, Russia and France on December 16 to celebrate the 75th founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army and the 30th All-People Defence Festival (December 22).

At these celebrations, the 2019 White Paper on Vietnam National Defence was also introduced to local officials and foreign defence attachés in the countries.

The event in Phnom Penh was attended by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An, along with senior officers of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

Head of the Vietnamese defence attaché office in Cambodia Col. Nguyen Thanh Chinh said Vietnam has established defence ties with over 80 countries and international organisations, and set up 33 defence attaché offices in 32 countries and the United Nations. Fifty-one countries have also opened defence and military attaché offices in Vietnam.

Since 2014, Vietnam has sent personnel to some UN peacekeeping missions, and they have fulfilled their assigned tasks, he said, noting that it is actively preparing for its ASEAN chairmanship in 2020 and non-permanent membership at the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.

Introducing the 2019 White Paper, Chinh highlighted Vietnam’s policy of not participating in any military alliances, not allying with one country to fight the other, not allowing foreign countries to locate their military bases in or use Vietnam’s territory to oppose other nations, and not using force or threatening to use force in international relations.

Vietnam respects the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of all countries as specified in international law. It resolutely and persistently safeguards its sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its sea areas in accordance with international law, he added.

Congratulating the Vietnamese army on its achievements, Lt. Gen. Phat Vibolsopheak, head of the international relations department at the Cambodia Ministry of Defence, said the countries’ traditional friendship that has been increasingly enhanced through annual high-level visits and officer exchanges will be the foundation for stronger ties between the two militaries.

Meanwhile, the ceremony in Moscow saw the presence of nearly 250 guests, including Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Vice Admiral Viktor Liina, representatives of the Russian defence and foreign ministries, Russian veterans, the Russia-Vietnam Friendship Association and foreign diplomatic corps.

Giving an overview of the 2019 defence white paper, Defence Attaché Col. Tran Tien Phuong said the paper aims to re-affirm and further clarify the nature of the Vietnamese defence, which is peace and self-defence. It also points out challenges facing the Vietnamese defence and adjustments to the country’s defence policy.

The paper also shows the transparency in Vietnam’s defence policy and capability, thereby helping to boost mutual understanding and trust between Vietnam and other countries, he noted.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh told reporters that in defence cooperation, Russia is a leading partner of Vietnam, adding that defence cooperation is one of the important pillars in the two countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership.

At a similar event in Paris, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Thiep affirmed that defence relations between the two countries have continually been reinforced in recent years.

During a trip to France in September 2018, Defence Minister Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich and his French counterpart signed an agreement amending bilateral defence cooperation and a joint vision statement for defence cooperation for 2018-2028, showing defence ties play a crucial role in the countries’ strategic cooperation, Thiep said.

At the celebration, Defence Attaché Col. Tran Tuan Anh presented the 2019 White Paper on Vietnam National Defence to the defence ministry of France./.