|The 18th Shangri-La Dialogue – the leading security forum in Asia-Pacific – officially opened yesterday in Singapore.— VNA/VNS Photo|
SINGAPORE — The 18th Shangri-La Dialogue – the leading security forum in Asia-Pacific – officially opened yesterday in Singapore.
The dialogue has attracted its largest ever number of participants including defence officials and scholars from nearly 50 countries and territories.
The Vietnamese delegation is being led by Politburo member General Ngô Xuân Lịch, Vice Secretary of the Central Military Commission and Minister of Defence.
In his opening speech, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong underlined the importance of stable and constructive ties between the US and China. He also highlighted the potential role that Singapore and other small nations could play to contribute to strengthening the multilateral world order.
The 18th Shangri-La Dialogue will include six plenary sessions featuring the US vision on Indo-Pacific security; Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) security: next steps; Asia’s evolving security order and its challenges; China and international security co-operation; preventing conflicts in contested domains; and ensuring a resilient and stable region.
There will also be special sessions on maritime security, defence, industrial development and defence co-operation, as well as hundreds of sideline meetings.
Defence Minister active in Shangri-La Dialogue
Defence Minister Ngô Xuân Lịch attended a meeting between the US secretary of defence and ASEAN defence ministers on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Friday.
At the event, acting US Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan reaffirmed Washington’s free and open Indo-Pacific policy, adding that the US-supported co-operation mechanisms in which ASEAN led and played a central role in. The US was ready to partner with ASEAN to build a region of peace, stability and development, he said, stressing that Washington attached importance to the freedom of navigation, aviation and trade.
The Vietnamese defence minister hosted a reception for his Republic of Korea (RoK) counterpart Jeong Kyeong-doo, during which Lịch said Việt Nam was willing to contribute to the peace process on the Korean peninsula.
Jeong said the RoK supported Việt Nam’s stance on the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The two ministers agreed to continue promoting bilateral ties on the basis of the Joint Vision Statement on Việt Nam–RoK Defence Co-operation through 2030, including the defence industry and exchange of high-ranking delegations.
At a separate meeting, Lịch and his Australian counterpart Linda Reynolds expressed their satisfaction with the effective and substantial development of bilateral defence ties over the years, notably the signing of a joint vision statement.
They also vowed to reinforce ties across education-training and UN peacekeeping missions. — VNS