The third Deputy Minister-level strategic defence talks took place in Hanoi on September 3 under the co-chair by Vietnam’s Deputy Defence Minister, Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh and Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Sen. Lieut. Gen. Ma Xiaotian.

General Vinh stated that Vietnam treasures its friendship with China and wants to work with China to establish sustainable peace and cooperation for mutual development to contribute to the world’s peace.

For his part, general Ma said in the context of complicated developments in regional and world arena, this dialogue is necessary to broaden common perceptions to importantly help with the enhancement of friendship and cooperation between the two countries and the two armies.

At the talks, the two sides showed their delight at developments in the two countries’ military ties and agreed that defence cooperation has become one of important factors of the Vietnam-China friendship.

They agreed to continue exchanging visits at all levels regularly to strengthen political trust and close ties between the two armies.

Due attentions will be given to cooperation in training, exchange activities, and coordination between the navies, border guard forces and maritime police.

Vinh asked the border guard forces of border provinces of Vietnam and China to increase cooperation to jointly maintain security and friendship in border areas and fight trans-national crime.

The Vietnamese side also expressed hopes for the organisation of exchanges between strategic research institutes and an increase in linkages between military communication agencies.

Touching on international situation, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, the two generals agreed that peace and cooperation are the mainstream that fits aspiration of people in the Asia-Pacific.

They viewed that the current regional and international situations offer both opportunities and challenges to every country and that development cooperation with countries, both in and outside the region will bring benefits for both Vietnam, China and related countries and maintain peace and stability in the region.

They, on the other hand, pointed out that big countries’ increasing interference into the Asia-Pacific will bring in challenges as well as implications if an environment honoring fairness, dialogues, international law, legitimate interests and political system of each country in the region is not created.

Deputy Minister Vinh reiterated the country’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation and not taking sides to build and defend the fatherland and at the same time contribute positively to peace and stability in the region and the world.

The two generals frankly discussed outstanding issues between the two countries regarding the East Sea issue.

They both reaffirmed the need to address those existing issues based on the general situation of relations between the two Parties and the two countries.

According to Deputy Minister Vinh, handling disputes in the East Sea is an issue of great importance in the Vietnam-China relationship and the fortune of the two countries and peoples.

It is very difficult, very sensitive and time-consuming for both sides to solve this issue, Vinh said.

He expressed his hopes that holding on goodwill, endeavours and the spirit of traditional friendship, mutual respect, publicity and transparency, the two sides will surely figure out settlement measures that both comply with international law and meet legitimate interests of the two countries and nations.

For the Vietnam-China ties, it is urgent for both sides to continue with cooperation and dialogue to step up political trust between the two Parties, States and armies.

“Without political trust, development cooperation cannot be done and disputes cannot be addressed,” Vinh said.

He proposed enhancing the share of bilateral interest and cooperation in multilateral forums along with stepping up cooperation in all fields.

Sharing the view with Deputy Minister Vinh, general Ma stated that China wants all disputes to be solved peacefully, without the use of force or threat to use force and with the observance of international law.

The Chinese side expressed hopes to see the sea dispute to be addressed satisfactorily, leaving no effects on the two countries’ ties and each country’s development.

At the end of the talks, the two officers witnessed the signing of an agreement on the expansion of training cooperation between the two armies.-VNA