Vietnamese Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich adresses at the forum. (Photo: VNA)

Beijing (VNA) – Vietnamese Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich has urged all countries to reinforce cooperation institutions and mechanisms, particularly multilateral ones, to better manage international security.

Delivering his remarks at the 8th Beijing Xiangshan Forum in the capital city of China on October 25, Lich said multilateral cooperation mechanisms would enable nations to not only seek opportunities for mutual development but also solve differences and conflicts.

They should be seen as a new driver to change the world’s politics and shape the Asia-Pacific’s security structure, he said at the forum’s first plenary session on “International Security Governance: New Ideas and Approaches.”

The minister highlighted the position of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) among regional security cooperation mechanisms and organisations, saying ASEAN has remarkably contributed to the maintenance of peace, stability and cooperation in the region through trust building, preventive diplomacy and conflict management.

The fact that 37 non-ASEAN countries, including world powers and permanent members of the UN Security Council, joined the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia (TAC) demonstrates the ASEAN’s effectiveness and success in security management in Asia-Pacific, he noted.

Furthermore, the ASEAN has initiated and played a central role in security cooperation mechanisms by creating forums to foster dialogue and partnership in tackling common security issues, he said, adding that the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM ) have proved effective in trust building as well as conflict management and prevention in the region.

The minister referred China as one of the bloc’s strategic partners that has provided active support and made key contributions to ASEAN-centric mechanisms on security cooperation, like ADMM , with its initiatives and specific solutions. He reiterated the ASEAN’s common stance to bolster comprehensive partnership with China for regional peace, stability, friendship, cooperation and development.

One of the ASEAN’s successes is to, together with China, adopt the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and engage in negotiation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in an attempt to maintain peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and aviation in the waters.

Lich further said that as a member of the ASEAN, Vietnam has placed high value on strengthening intra-bloc solidarity and put forward a number of initiatives in the group’s security cooperation mechanisms.

Vietnam will assume the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 and one of its goals is to step up partnership with ASEAN and non-ASEAN nations to address common security threats, particularly non-traditional security challenges, and promote development cooperation for the benefit of each country and for peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world, he stressed.

The minister also affirmed Vietnam’s stance to settle territorial disputes through peaceful measures on the basis of international law, provisions of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and agreements reached by Vietnamese and Chinese leaders, without using force or threatening to use force. He said Vietnam wants the two countries to well manage existing issues via dialogues to not sabotage their long-standing relations.

Initiated by the Chinese Academy of Military Science in 2006, the Beijing Xiangshan Forum, whose original name was the Xiangshan Forum, has developed into a high-level security and defence forum in Asia-Pacific. This year, it is taking place from October 24– 26 under the theme of “Building a New Type of Security Partnership of Equality, Mutual Trust and Win-Win Cooperation”.

The 8th edition focuses discussions on various topics, namely International Security Governance, Global Terrorism – Threats and Countermeasures, Maritime Security Cooperation – Reality and Vision, UN Peacekeeping – Challenges and Cooperation, and others.–VNA