General Ngô Xuân Lịch – Politburo member, Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission and Minister of National Defence of Việt Nam (R) meets Sen. Lt. Gen. Wei Fenghe – State Councillor and Minister of National Defence of China in Hà Nội on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Điệp
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam and China have made progress in their defence co-operation, which deserves to be an important pillar in the countries’ all-round relations, leaders of the two defence ministries said during talks in Hà Nội on Monday.
The meeting was held between General Ngô Xuân Lịch – Politburo member, Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission and Minister of National Defence of Việt Nam – and Sen. Lt. Gen. Wei Fenghe – State Councillor and Minister of National Defence of China, who is paying an official visit to Việt Nam this week.
At the event, the two sides discussed defence relations, particularly the implementation of the 2003 protocol on bilateral defence co-operation and the 2017 joint vision statement on defence co-operation 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 co-operation activities that have been carried out in a 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, co-operation 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 co-operation activities between border military zones.
The officers specified 2019 as the year for breakthroughs in the relations on the thresholds of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Việt Nam-China diplomatic ties in 2020.
They agreed to continue enhancing links in terms of Party-related and political works; complete joint historical studies and documentaries; intensify co-operation 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 Việt Nam 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.
This will benefit not only China and Việt Nam, but also partners who wish to co-operate with the two countries for common development, they said.
Following the talks, the officers witnessed the signing of several co-operation agreements between the two ministries’ agencies, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on military medicine co-operation, an agreement on military staff training in the 2019-20 academic year, and an MoU on military education between the National Defence Academy of Việt Nam and the National Defence University of China. The Chinese defence ministry also presented medical and search and rescue equipment to its Vietnamese counterpart.
Minister Lịch 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 Việt Nam in 2020 when the country takes on its role as the ASEAN Chair.
Later the same day, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân met the Chinese minister and said Việt Nam treasures its friendship and partnership with China.
Relations between the two parties and countries, including between the Vietnamese NA and the National People’s Congress of China, have been developing, from politics, trade, investment, to locality-to-locality co-operation and people-to-people exchange, Chairwoman Ngân said.
Minister Wei said his visit aims to help implement Vietnamese and Chinese leaders’ agreements, thereby helping to develop bilateral ties.
He noted the countries have sustained the upward trend in their comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership, affirming that China is ready to work with Việt Nam to realise their leaders’ common perceptions and increase co-operation in different fields, including between the legislative bodies.
On this occasion, Minister Wei conveyed an invitation from Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China Li Zhanshu to Chairwoman Ngân to pay an official visit to the country. — VNS