Hanoi (VNA) – The major task of the Central Military Commission and the Defence Ministry of Vietnam in 2018 is to reorganise the army forces to make the Vietnam People's Army elite, streamlined, strong and flexible by 2021, according to Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the threshold of the Lunar New Year, General Lich, who is also Vice Secretary of the Central Military Commission, said that from 2018, the Defence Ministry will adjust the organisation of some agencies and units, while seeking measures to tackle redundancy and ensure no rise in the number of personnel in the army.

He said that the ministry will forge stronger bilateral defence collaboration with foreign countries in a practical and stable manner with balanced relations with world powers, while actively engaging in multilateral defence cooperation mechanisms.

At the same time, it will focus on building and completing a master plan on defence diplomacy by 2020 when Vietnam takes the charge of ASEAN Chair, he said.

The ministry will pay more attention to strengthening cooperation in politics, defence, technology, military equipment and military trade, and foster mutual trust, understanding and experience sharing with the armies of other countries.

The minister said Vietnam will also organise joint border patrols and defence friendship exchanges with neighboring countries, while getting ready to deploy the field hospital level 2 to the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, thus making active contributions to the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations.

Regarding achievements of the ministry in 2017, General Lich said that the ministry coordinated closely with other ministries, sectors and agencies in reinforcing the all-people defence, as well as building strong defence zones with priority on major localities, islands and border areas.
Meanwhile, the ministry also effectively implemented the arrangement of forces and the equipping of weapons for armed troops, while merging, dissolving and transferring and forming a number of forces to make them elite, streamlined, strong and mobile.

It also launched a project to restructure, reform and improve the effectiveness of military-run enterprises, and tightened the management and use of military-owned land areas, he added.-VNA