Minister of Defence Ngo Xuan Lich (centre) signs the ADMM 12 joint statement (Photo: VNA)


Singapore (VNA) –
Vietnam supports contents suggested by the host country Singapore within the framework of the 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM 12), stated Minister of Defence Ngo Xuan Lich at the function which was convened on October 19.

He further said that regional security and anti-terrorism are key to ASEAN development, and stressed the necessary of maintaining ASEAN’s consensus, solidarity and central role regarding important issues in the region.  

The work requires the fortification of ASEAN-led mechanisms so that they can make effective contributions to ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, Lich suggested.

The minister affirmed the importance of the East Sea to peace and development, as well as to safe and free navigation and overflight in the region and in the world, and added that ASEAN should step up cooperation with its partners in the field for mutual benefits. 

He welcomed and lauded China’s efforts in its cooperation with the bloc, reflected through the sides’ approval of the draft framework of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) and ongoing COC-text negotiations based on a single draft.

The official underscored Vietnam’s support for peaceful solution of disputes in line with international law and in respect of independence, sovereignty, and interest of the sides involved.

He recommended increased defence ties within ASEAN as well as between the bloc and its bilateral and multilateral partners, particularly in boosting collaboration and liaison mechanisms.

At their meeting, top defence officials of the 10 ASEAN countries agreed to establish a network for responding to new security challenges posed by chemical, biological, and radiological threats.

They also pledged to push ahead with fighting terrorism on the basis of defence and military cooperation, and coordinating in joint sea and air exercises to minimise unexpected damage and prevent tension escalations. They also reached a consensus towards investing efforts in implementing the “Our Eyes” initiative on sharing intelligence information in the region. 

Concluding the 12th ADMM, the ministers issued a joint statement affirming the commitment to keeping peace and stability in the region and fostering cooperation to deal with current security challenges. 

Within the ADMM 12 framework, unofficial meetings took place between ASEAN defence ministers and their counterparts from the US and China. 

Concerning activities of the Vietnamese delegation, Minister Lich had separate meetings with his Malaysian, Indian, and Philippine counterparts on the same day.

Earlier, on October 18, he met with Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. They agreed on positive growth of Vietnam – Singapore defence ties, particularly in the exchange of delegations, young officers, joint work in navy, intelligence, and military medical sectors, and cooperation at multilateral forums.

Lich thanked the Singaporean Ministry of Defence for its scholarships granted for Vietnam in various fields. He asked Singapore to back Vietnam’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2020.    

The ADMM is the highest defence cooperation and consultation mechanism of ASEAN, aiming to foster mutual trust among member countries through sharing perspectives on defence and security challenges, while improving the transparency and openness among the 10 ASEAN countries.

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.-VNA