During the eighth ASEAN Navy Chiefs’ Meeting in Bangkok on August 27, Vietnam contributed to ASEAN’s vision for its naval forces post-2015 – when ASEAN will be formally established as a Community, a Vietnam People’s Navy official reported.

Vietnam has proposed the Community focus on building trust and solidarity amongst the respective navies to form a united bloc capable of safeguarding security and safety in the East Sea and throughout the region, Colonel Nguyen Ngoc Vinh, head of the Department for External Relations at the Vietnam People’s Navy Headquarters, said during a side event.

Relations between the navies of ASEAN member countries should be developed in a pragmatic way, he said, adding that this meeting is particularly significant in the context of the association becoming a single community in 2015.

ASEAN naval forces are scheduled to take part in a joint parade in 2017, which is anticipated to improve relationships and cooperation, and portray a positive image to the international community, he noted.

Over the past years, a number of Vietnamese initiatives have been implemented, including setting up hotlines to exchange information, holding regular meetings and the organising of joint patrols, Colonel Vinh said.

These measures have significantly improved mutual trust, which in turn has contributed to safeguarding peace, stability, security and safety in the East Sea; and created favourable conditions for the development and prosperity of ASEAN, he added.

During the event, the association’s naval chiefs discussed a number of measures to reinforce mutual trust, confidence and understanding.

They also agreed on the development of a roadmap for the ASEAN naval forces.

Initiated in 2001, the meeting is a chance for all parties to increase their understanding of each other, and improve collaboration on the implementation of a range of activities, including conducting joint sea rescues, and addressing piracy and legal violations at sea.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, includes Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA