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Vietnam, China hold 4th strategic defence dialogue VNTimes


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

The Vietnamese delegation was headed by Deputy Defence Minister SeniorLieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, while Qi Jianguo, Deputy Chief ofGeneral Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army led the Chinesedelegation at the event.

At the meeting, the two sides expressed their common concerns over recent changes in the Asia-Pacific region.

Vinh said in addition to deepening security and defence cooperationbetween Vietnam and China, the two countries should alsostrengthen cooperation with other regional nations and join regionalsecurity organisations .

However, they have to be vigilant not to be drawn into organisations that fight against third countries, Vinh added.

Regarding the ties between the two countries and two armies, theVietnamese Deputy Defence Minister stressed that he agreed with the fourprinciples put forth by Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo at theirbilateral meeting during the 12th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singaporelast week.

The principles include: the two defenceministries should establish strategic trust, creating a foundation forfuture steps; leaders of the two ministries should be open-minded andhave mutual trust; the two sides must deal with disputes and unsettledissues head-on, and together seek ways to address them; and studymatters that have not yet been solved on the basis of nation-to-nationand military-to-military sincere discussions.

Byfollowing these principles, strategic trust between the two armies willbe built and consolidated, helping foster strategic trust betweenVietnam and China , Vinh said.

In order tostrengthen the trust between the two armies, Vinh proposed fivedirections for their future cooperation: special attention should bepaid to political and party work in the two armies; strengtheninginformation exchange between the two sides’ strategic agencies;considering deputy defence minister-level strategic dialogue as the keyfactor for the two sides to assess the situation and work out effectivesolutions; strengthening cooperation between the two sides’ navies andmarine police forces. Based on which, leaders of the two Parties andcountries will have a comfortable environment to make decisions at astrategic level, instructing the two navies to meet each other and use ahotline between the two naval commanders to exchange necessaryinformation.

Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo said he completely agreed with the proposed directions.

He said the Chinese side will actively implement the two sides’ planto exchange delegations in 2013; actively participate in cooperation onland and at sea; amend an agreement on border cooperation with the goalof signing it during Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang’s upcomingvisit to China; continue officer training programmes; regularly shareresults of studies conducted by the two armies’ research facilities;strengthen cooperation in party and political work; and continuethree-party security cooperation.

Regarding theEast Sea situation, Deputy Defence Minister Vinh affirmed that thisissue is part of the Vietnam-China strategic relationship as it is adifficult issue that takes a long time to resolve to ensure andharmonise each side’s legitimate interest and sovereignty in line withinternational law.

He said the two armies shouldconsult their parties and states, and consistently settle disputesappropriately through peaceful talks and friendly consultation.

The two armies need to work together tocreate a peaceful environment in the East Sea , maintain the statusquo, reduce their presence in sensitive areas and avoid actions thatcan cause misunderstandings, Vinh said.

He proposed the armies do not use force or threaten the use of force,and work towards signing an agreement to not use or threaten the use offorce at sea.

Vinh suggested the two armies expandcooperative fields, especially naval cooperation, and thoroughly graspthe humane treatment of fishermen working peacefully at sea.

Cooperation via the hotline set up between the two countries’ navalcommanders should be increased and the popularisation of the friendshipbetween the two armies and people should be stepped up, Deputy MinisterVinh said.

Agreeing with the Vietnameseguest’s opinions, the Chinese host said that resolving all existingmatters properly will create a momentum to develop the two countries’relations.

The two sides need to be determined toachieve positive results as in the past demarcation of the land borderand delimitation in the Gulf of Tonkin , he suggested, adding thatthe two armies should remain calm and not use force to threaten eachother whilst dealing with any developments at sea to avoid actions thatcould lead to misunderstandings.

Following thedialogue, the two sides witnessed the signing of an agreement to set up adirect security telephone line between the two defence ministries. Theline aims to increase exchanges, negotiations and friendship betweentheir leaders.

Earlier, the Vietnamese delegation visited the Peacekeeping Centre of the Chinese Defence Ministry.-VNA

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