Vietnam and China want to bring bilateral defence relations to a new height, said Lieut. Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich, Head of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) General Department of Politics.

Lich, who is also Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Member of the Standing Committee of the Party Central Military Commission, made the statement at the end of his official visit to China .

Lieut. Gen. Lich said that visit aimed to assess results of defence and military cooperation between the two countries, with a focus on cooperation between the VPA General Department of Politics and the General Political Department of the China People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The two sides discussed measures to expand and deepen the defence and military cooperation between the two countries, contributing to building defence and the army and in each country, strengthening and increasing the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, he said.

Lieut. Gen. Lich spoke highly of the success of the visit, saying that at the talks and meetings, Chinese leaders agreed with the Party, the State, the army and the people of Vietnam in attaching importance to and promoting solidarity, friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

The two sides were pleased to see that in the common relationship between the two countries, defence and military cooperation have developed in recent years, contributing to building political confidence and mutual understanding between the two countries.

Both Vietnam and China considered defence and military cooperation as one of the pillars in the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Regarding the East Sea issue, he said that there are still different perceptions between the two sides. Recent incidents caused temporary difficulties for the two countries’ relations, but the two sides reached an important common perception that would not let the issue to hamper the development of the fine bilateral relations.

The border issue in general is a complicated matter left by the history, he said, adding that if the two sides are determined and persistently pursue talks, based on international law and the comradeship, it can be completely solved.

Lieut. Gen. Lich affirmed both sides believed disputes in the East Sea are likely to be settled as successfully as the land border and the Tonkin Gulf issues.

Immediately, parties need to remain calm, refrain, not use force or threaten use of force to make the situation tense, he said.

Issues relating to two parties need to be solved bilaterally and issues relating to many parties need to be solved multilaterally, he added.

Lich said during the visit to China, Vietnam had once again made clear the consistent viewpoint, stance and attitude of the Vietnamese Party and State on protection of territorial sovereignty, pursuing the settlement of disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures, on the basis of international law, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), respecting territorial sovereignty and the interests of all related parties, while absolutely preventing conflict.

The Chinese side attaches importance to developing friendly neighbourliness and cooperation for the mutual interests with the Vietnamese Party, State, people and army, Lieut. Gen. Lich said.

He affirmed the two armies have a responsibility to implement their exemplary and core role, to foster the solidarity, friendship and cooperation of “both comrades and bothers”, bringing the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to a new height./.