Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngô Xuân Lịch delivers a speech at the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore yesterday. VNA/VNS Photo Xuân Vịnh
SINGAPORE Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngô Xuân Lịch called on parties to work together to solve disputes while addressing the fifth plenary session of the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore yesterday.
He said global powers played an important role in this regard, and should take greater responsibility and set examples in international relations.
The competition for strategic interests in Asia-Pacific was getting fiercer as the region had become more attractive thanks to its strategic and geographical location, he added.
Competition was taking place at both regional and global levels, and in various spheres, from politics and diplomacy to economy, trade, natural resources, the environment and national sovereignty, regarding both traditional and non-traditional challenges, Lịch said.
He highlighted Việt Nam’s global integration efforts, enhancing relations with other countries and protecting peace, stability and security in the region and the world at large.
Regarding the East Sea issue, Lịch appealed to nations to abide by international law and show their responsibility and good will to build the East Sea into an area of peace, co-operation and development.
He lauded the progress made in negotiations for the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), saying the early formation of a pragmatic, binding and effective COC would significantly contribute to maintaining peace, stability, freedom, security and safety of navigation and overflight in the East Sea.
The country had joined hands with China and other relevant sides to promote the settlement of disputes in the East Sea by peaceful measures in accordance with international law, he said.
The dialogue wrapped up yesterday with three plenary dialogue sessions focusing on the topics of China and international security co-operation, prevention of clashes and self-reliance and stability.
Lịch affirmed Việt Nam’s viewpoint and stance of solving disputes and preventing hostilities in the atmosphere of peace with the spirit of partnership and for community responsibility.
To this end, the sides must look for fields of mutual benefit, build trust and solve conflicts and disputes, he said, admitting this would be a long and complicated journey which required political determination and joint action from every country.
Defence and security
Participants discussed maritime security, national defence, industrial development and defence co-operation on Saturday.
Co-operation and dialogue were key to solving disputes at sea. They said competition among powers had intensified tensions in the East Sea and resulted in increasing risks of conflicts at sea and in the air which could lead to hostilities that may negatively impact ASEAN countries.
The East Sea must be a region of peace and friendship rather than confrontation and hostilities, they stressed.
Speaking at the discussion, Director of the Institute of National Defence Strategies Đặng Quang Minh said that maritime security must be based on the spirit of respect of laws and the legitimate sovereignty of claimants. It also needed to respect the interests of countries, and that no seas belonged to any single country or group of countries. VNS