Safeguarding independence, as well as sovereignty and territorial integrity in the East Sea is a top priority of Vietnam, said a Vietnamese official at two seminars held recently in Paris.

Hoang Anh Tuan, Head of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Foreign Policy under the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, delivered speeches at two seminars on security challenges facing Vietnam in 2015 at the French Military Academy’s Institute for Strategic Studies and the Vietnamese Embassy in France.

According to Tuan, Vietnam is also coping with challenges in handling ties with large countries taking an interest in Southeast Asia, as well as challenges in economic development and prosperity.

He stressed the necessity for Vietnam and other ASEAN countries to maintain unity and unanimity to ensure security in the region.

Once the ASEAN Community forms at the end of this year, each ASEAN country has to consider the others’ challenges as its own, he stated.

It is also necessary for Vietnam to strengthen its economy and its ability to defend itself, speed up comprehensive integration and narrow the development gap with others in the region and the world, he added.

Tuan’s speeches were well received by French researchers and scholars. After the seminars, the French Institute for Strategic Studies proposed cooperating in studies with the Vietnamese Institute for Strategic Studies and Foreign Policy.-VNA