Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyễn Chí Vịnh led a Vietnamese delegation to attend the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (ADMM Retreat) in Singapore yesterday.– VNA/VNS Photo Việt Dũng
SINGAPORE – Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyễn Chí Vịnh led a Vietnamese delegation to attend the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (ADMM Retreat) in Singapore yesterday.
The retreat discussed orientations for defence-security cooperation among ASEAN nations in 2018, focusing on counter-terrorism, collaboration in responding to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons, and a Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) as proposed by Singapore – the Chair of ASEAN this year.
Along with newly-arising challenges, the heads of delegation at the event agreed that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) needs to maintain unity and remain vigilant over old security challenges such as sovereignty, territorial disputes and maritime security.
Speaking at the meeting, Vịnh affirmed that Việt Nam welcomed the three targets of ASEAN in 2018 as proposed by Singapore, stressing the need for strengthened cooperation in coping with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.
"For the past five decades, Việt Nam, Laos and Cambodia have suffered serious consequences of chemical weapons used during wartime," he said, adding that Việt Nam is willing to share experience in preventing and decontaminating toxic chemicals.
Regarding the CUES, Vịnh emphasised that it must be associated with the East Sea issue, especially in preparation for the formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
As there remain latent risks in the East Sea issue, ASEAN member states should continue intensifying cooperation and sharing information about the sea situation, with the focus placed on abiding by international law, respecting the diplomatic and legal processes, maintaining maritime and aviation security and safety by strictly implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and working towards the early finalisation of the legally-binding COC, Vịnh suggested.
On the sidelines of the ADMM Retreat, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong received the heads of delegation. He spoke highly of the countries’ contributions to the ASEAN defence cooperation process and stressed the need to strengthen solidarity within the bloc to tackle common security challenges.
The ASEAN-China Defence Ministers Informal Meeting also took place with the participation of defence leaders from ASEAN member nations and Chinese Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Chang Wanquan.
The ASEAN defence leaders affirmed that cooperative relations between ASEAN and China are developing fruitfully across many areas. ASEAN countries expect that through cooperation, China will contribute to strengthening peace, stability and security in the region.
On Monday, Deputy Minister Vịnh met with Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan. — VNS