Monday, September 26 2016

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Việt Nam calls on nations to jointly settle differences at Shangri-La Dialogue

Update: June, 06/2016 - 09:00

Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister Nguyễn Chí Vịnh called on nations to increase cooperation to settle differences and prevent conflicts while delivering a speech at the fourth plenary session of the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue concluded in Singapore yesterday.— Photo thanhnien.vn

SINGAPORE  — Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister Nguyễn Chí Vịnh called on nations to increase cooperation to settle differences and prevent conflicts while delivering a speech at the fourth plenary session of the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue concluded in Singapore yesterday.

He said the regional security is threatened by terrorism, nuclear proliferation, territorial and border disputes, marine security, and other growing non-traditional security challenges. In that context, it is necessary to enhance multinational collaboration, build mutual trust, respect for legitimate rights, and achieve common viewpoints and interests to jointly address disputes, he said.

 According to Senior Lieutenant General Vịnh, either cooperation or competition, the involved parties must respect the principle of equality and international law, regarding them as the standards to peacefully resolve disputes and minimise the escalation of conflict, without use forces or threat to use forces. 

The Shangri-La Dialogue as well as other important security forums offers a brilliant opportunity for countries to seek measures to settle disputes to maintain peace, stability in the region and the world, he said, highlighting the central role of ASEAN in the field. 

Regarding tensions in the South China Sea (call East Sea by Viet Nam), Gen Vinh reiterated Việt Nam’s standpoint to resolutely defend the country’s independence and sovereignty. The country’s core principle is maximising cooperation and competition for development as well as dispute settlement, he said. 

He added that Việt Nam has the policy to strengthen cooperation with China and other countries to build and consolidate trust while constructively engaging in frank debates to search for common strategic interests.

A senior Chinese defence official yesterday slammed the United States for double standards and irresponsible behaviour on the South China Sea dispute and scolded the Philippines for taking the spat to an UN arbitration court, saying that China "does not fear trouble" when it comes to upholding its sovereignty.

Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of China’s Central Military Commission, told some 600 delegates including defence ministers, scholars and business executives gathered in Singapore for the Shangri-La Dialogue defence forum.

"China will not bear with the [UN] arbitration award nor allow any infringements of [its] sovereignty and security interests or stay indifferent to the irresponsible behaviour of some countries in or around the South China Sea," he added, without naming any country.

The US military has conducted several “freedom of navigation” operations in which it sends a ship or plane to pass by a Chinese-claimed island in the South China Sea as a way of showing it rejects Beijing’s claims of sovereignty. 

Admiral Sun’s comments came a day after US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, who is also participating in the three-day forum, urged China to join a "principled security network" in the Asia-Pacific region and stop erecting a "Great Wall of self-isolation" in the South China Sea.

Tension is rising over China’s reclamation works on disputed reefs in the South China Sea. China claims some 80 per cent of the waterway, which hosts a vital global shipping route, while the Philippines, Viet Nam, Malaysia and Brunei have overlapping claims. 

Manila has taken China’s claim to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague but Beijing has said repeatedly it will not participate in the process nor recognise the ruling.

On Saturday, Carter had signalled that the US will stand with the Philippines as well as Viet Nam to ensure freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.

The US military has conducted several “freedom of navigation” operations in which the ship or plane passed by a Chinese-claimed island in the South China Sea, much to Beijing’s displeasure.

Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that the European Union had a stake in maintaining freedom of shipping and navigation in the South China Sea, and said he would speak to his counterparts on the issue.

He said the South China Sea issue "directly concerns" France and other EU members not only because of their economic interest in maintaining freedom of navigation, but also because of their belief in "firmness when the rule of law is violated".

Japan is increasingly concerned about China’s unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the South China Sea, Defence Minister Gen Nakatani said on Saturday, stating no country can be an "outsider" when it comes to regional stability.

It was the Japanese government’s clearest criticism of China’s actions in the South China Sea, and came despite some recent improvements in the often-testy bilateral relationship.

In his speech at Asia’s annual premier security forum, Nakatani said he was "deeply concerned" over massive and rapid reclamation works, as well as the construction of outposts used for military purposes in some parts of the disputed sea.

"Such unilateral attempts to alter the status quo and consolidate such changes as faits accomplis considerably deviate from the maritime order based on the principles of the international community," he said.

Nakatani said those actions represent a "challenge" to the current rule-based global order.

"The peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region underpin the prosperity of the whole international community, not just that of the region," he said. "Therefore, no country can be an outsider on the issue."

Cooperation to fight ISIS

Calling the fight against ISIS “one of our greatest challenges today”, Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein noted that the terror outfit cannot be defeated using a piecemeal approach or knee-jerk reactions.

Southeast Asian defence ministers on Saturday called for greater cooperation and action among countries to dismantle the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) terrorist group and the persistent threat it poses to global security.

Calling the fight against ISIS “one of our greatest challenges today”, Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein noted that the terror outfit cannot be defeated using a piecemeal approach or knee-jerk reactions.

“We need a different strategy, a more tailored approach that moves past outmoded forms of conventional warfare,”  Hishammuddin said at the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu called on countries in the region to make a “more serious and concerted effort” to defeat ISIS.

Military operations to destroy the group’s logistic and financial strength “is a right action to weaken the central gravity of ISIS”, but that alone is not enough, said Ryacudu.

“We can draw a conclusion that we face not only terrorism on the huge, international scale, but also that formed by... individuals and small groups from many countries,” said Ryacudu. — Agencies

Japan, Britain to help ASEAN upgrade maritime capabilities

SINGAPORE - Japan and Britain agreed yesterday to launch talks between their senior defence officials on programmes aimed at helping Southeast Asian countries upgrade their maritime capabilities.

The agreement to start the consultations by the end of this month in London was reached between Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and his British counterpart Michael Fallon on the sidelines of a major security forum in Singapore.

The support they have in mind for the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations is measures to upgrade their capacity in the areas of security and disaster response, according to Japanese officials.

Nakatani and Fallon agreed that the two countries will keep sharing views on the situation in the South China Sea, where tensions have remained high for several years as China becomes more aggressive in asserting its territorial claims, the officials said. — KYODO

 

 

 

 

 

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