The fourth Vietnam-China strategic defence dialogue was an important milestone as the two countries mark 10 years of signing an agreement on defence cooperation, said Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh.

This is an occasion for both sides to review their cooperation over the past decade, Deputy Minister Senior Lieutenant General Vinh, who led the Vietnamese delegation to the event, told Beijing-based Vietnam News Agency correspondents.

The Deputy Minister said the two sides confirmed the soundness of the document, which has helped promote bilateral defence cooperation in terms of quantity and quality.

The defence cooperation has become one of important relations in the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic partnership, he said, adding that Vietnam and China agreed to outline an orientation for further cooperation in the 2013-2016 period and to 2020 with more plentiful, specific and practical contents.

Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan commented that the dialogue was very practical, honest and frank, the Deputy Minister said.

The two sides did not avoid issues they have different viewpoints on, and led to crucial common perceptions on the need to consolidate their defence relations in order to build Vietnam-China friendship and cooperation for mutual development, Vinh quoted the Chinese defence leader as saying.

Another highlight of the dialogue was that the two sides officially inaugurated a hotline directly connecting the two defence ministries, he said, adding that this demonstrates a close-knit and regular connection, which usually just appears among close neighbouring countries.

The issue of building strategic trust between the two defence ministries was mentioned at a meeting on the sidelines of the 12th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore between Deputy Minister Vinh and head of the Chinese defence delegation to the event Qi Jianguo, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

At the defence dialogue between Vietnam and China, the two sides once again discussed the issue, Vinh said, adding that they even proposed detailed tasks to realise it.

The fourth strategic dialogue on defence between Vietnam and China took place in Beijing on June 5.

Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh and Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Qi Jianguo led their delegations to the event.-VNA