Expanding international cooperation in defence is an important vision in the building of the army during international integration process.

The issue is raised in an article “Building the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) in the process of global integration” by Colonel Vu Khanh from the Ministry of Defence’s Institute of Defence Strategy.

The people’s army will continue broadening bilateral defence ties, especially key ones, Colonel Khanh affirmed.

Priority will be given to the exchanges of military delegations, the sharing of information and experience, personnel training, and humanitarian missions.

According to Khanh, it is necessary to intensify defence cooperation with the ASEAN member countries as part of the programme on building the ASEAN Politics-Security community and in line with bilateral relations between the VPA and each country.

The VPA also pays attention to further broadening external dialogues with concerned countries to share viewpoints, thus promoting mutual understanding and trust while opening up opportunities to solve issues relating to parties’ interests.

Colonel Khanh stressed the maintenance and expansion of annual dialogues at deputy-ministerial level with regional countries and beyond, as well as upgrading the mechanism to ministerial strategic discussion if necessary.

The dialogues and exchanges will be multiplied, especially between young officers, and among schools and institutes, to help increase understanding and strategic trust between the VPA and other countries’ armies, he said.

Boosting naval cooperation in the spirit of friendship and cooperation on maritime security defence is also a task in the VPA’s external relations expansion plan.

He stressed the importance of the relations in addressing sea-borne issues in a bid to prevent conflicts, increase the friendship among armies and maintain peace and stability in disputed areas and in the East Sea.

Naval cooperation in training will be strengthened in the service of humanitarian activities and disaster relief aid. The Vietnamese Navy will continue to maintain hotlines and joint patrols with other navies.

The Vietnam Border should proactively enhance their international connection to fully implement international border treaties and agreements to combat crimes, such as cross-border smuggling, illegal immigration, and human and drug trafficking for peaceful and friendly borderlines.

Regarding the VPA’s participation in the United Nations peacekeeping operations, Colonel Vu Khanh noted that the establishment of the Vietnam Peace Keeping Centre in last May will contribute to improving the quality of operation and personnel training as well as meeting the demand on activities in UN peace keeping missions. The centre will closely coordinate with other similar centres in ASEAN and countries in terms of staff training, firstly in sapper and military medicine fields.

The settlement of non-traditional security issues is also among priorities in the VPA’s international collaboration, in parallel with the building of a modern, regular army and the development of military science, concluded Colonel Vu Khanh.-VNA