Vietnamese, Chinese defence ministers hold talks in Hanoi hinh anh 1Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich (R) and his Chinese counterpart Sen. Lt. Gen. Wei Fenghe shake hands at their talks in Hanoi on May 27 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and China have recorded progress in their defence cooperation, which deserves to be an important pillar in the countries’ all-round relations, leaders of the two defence ministries said at their talks in Hanoi on May 27.

The talks were held between General Ngo Xuan Lich – Politburo member, Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission and Minister of National Defence of Vietnam – and Sen. Lt. Gen. Wei Fenghe – State Councillor and Minister of National Defence of China, who is paying an official visit to Vietnam from May 27 to 29.

At the event, the two sides discussed current affairs in each country and defence relations, particularly the implementation of the 2003 protocol on bilateral defence cooperation and the 2017 joint vision statement on defence cooperation until 2025.

The ministers shared the view that recent progress in defence ties demonstrates the high political trust between the two countries.

They spoke highly of the cooperation activities that have been carried out in a relatively comprehensive manner with practical content, matching the demand and capacity of each side. 

High-level meetings and mutual visits by leaders of the two militaries have been promoted. Meanwhile, some cooperation mechanisms have been set up and expanded, including the defence strategy dialogue, young officers’ exchanges, joint patrols on the Gulf of Tonkin, border defence friendship exchanges, and cooperation activities between border military zones, they noted.

The officers specified 2019 as the year for breakthroughs in the two militaries’ relations on the thresholds of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnam-China diplomatic ties in 2020.

They agreed to continue enhancing defence links in terms of Party-related and political works; complete joint historical studies and documentaries; intensify cooperation in military medicine, the defence industry, and United Nations peacekeeping; and foster ties between the countries’ naval and air force services.

Special attention will be paid to border defence friendship exchange programmes, along with relations between military zones and border guard, naval, and air forces of Vietnam with the southern military region of China.

Regarding outstanding issues, the two sides agreed on the need to persist in peacefully resolving the problems to ensure solid mutual trust, and together build a peaceful environment in the East Sea.

A peaceful environment in the East Sea built by the two sides will benefit not only China or Vietnam, but also partners who wish to cooperate with the two countries for common development, they stressed.

Following the talks, the officers witnessed the signing of several cooperation agreements between the two ministries’ relevant agencies, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on military medicine cooperation, an agreement on military staff training in the 2019-2020 academic year, and an MoU on military education between the National Defence Academy of Vietnam and the National Defence University of China. The Chinese defence ministry also presented medical and search and rescue equipment to its Vietnamese counterpart.

On this occasion, Minister Ngo Xuan Lich invited his counterpart Wei Fenghe to attend the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus and send naval ships to the maritime security drill and the international naval parade in Vietnam in 2020 when the country takes on its role as the ASEAN Chair.–VNA