|Defence Minister Gen. Phung Quang Thanh (R) rewiews the guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing , capital of China, Oct. 17, 2014. — VNA/VNS Photos Yen Thu
BEIJING (VNS) — Viet Nam and China's defence ministers met yesterday in Beijing, and shared their wish to strengthen neighbourly friendship between the two countries.
Defence Minister Gen. Phung Quang Thanh, who is on an official visit to China from October 16-18, and his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan noted with pleasure the status of co-operation between the two armies in line with a protocol signed in 2003, saying that this should continue by facilitating more visits, personnel training, and holding joint patrols on the Gulf of Tonkin for a borderl of peace, stability and development.
They agreed to enhance Party and political activities, with a focus on awareness campaigns and exchanges between young officers to raise mutual understanding between the two peoples.
Minister Thanh said sovereignty disputes in the East Sea were the only stumbling block in the bilateral relationship, adding that Viet Nam's consistent stance was to settle the dispute peacefully and seek a long-term solution acceptable to both sides in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.
He urged armed forces to keep calm, exercise self-restraint and closely monitor activities at sea to avoid any possible misunderstanding, prevent clashes and desist from threat or use of force to address the dispute.
Thanh also called for fishermen to be treated humanely by helping those in distress at sea and not confiscating their equipment.
At the end of the talks, both ministers witnessed the signing of a technical memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a direct communication line between the two ministries.
Meeting with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao later, Thanh suggested China lift its warning against travel in Viet Nam, adding that his visit aimed to bolster ties between the two Parties, countries and armies. — VNS