The 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum opened in Beijing on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Vĩnh Hà
BEIJING — A high-ranking military delegation led by Việt Nam's top defence official is taking part in the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum that opened in Beijing on Monday.
The forum, themed 'Maintaining International Order and Promoting Peace in the Asia-Pacific', has drawn hundreds of defence and military leaders, along with experts from countries and organisations around the world.
Addressing a plenary session on security risk management in Asia-Pacific, General Ngô Xuân Lịch, Minister of National Defence of Việt Nam, said there are many latent complex and unpredictable factors in the political and security environment of the region which pose security challenges and risks, both traditional and non-traditional.
To manage security risks in Asia-Pacific, he called on all countries to uphold the rule of law and mutual respect in international relations as well as in the settlement of disputes, enhance powers’ sense of responsibility, bring into play the role of bilateral and multilateral co-operation mechanisms in building trust and managing security in the region, and resolve disputes by peaceful means.
Regarding the situation in the East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea), Lịch said this area faces numerous security risks due to many factors, including competition among powers, sovereignty disputes, and non-traditional security issues.
The East Sea situation is witnessing complicated developments, and if it is not handled well, regional peace and stability will be affected, trust among countries eroded, and co-operation efforts in the region hampered, he said.
The minister emphasised Việt Nam’s stance of supporting the freedom of passage, security, and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea in line with international law.
Việt Nam persists with a policy of resolving East Sea issues by peaceful measures in line with international law and practice, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, he said.
East Sea issues must be handled by peaceful measures, not using force or threatening to use force, based on international law, and respecting the legitimate interests of each country in a partnership spirit and with responsibility towards the community, Lịch stressed, adding that Việt Nam pledges to foster co-operation to build the East Sea into an area of peace, stability and development.
In his speech, the official also said the security and stability of China and ASEAN countries are inseparable. Therefore, the two sides have always respected and bolstered co-operation in all spheres, with defence and security important pillars.
Việt Nam highly values China’s contributions to development co-operation, the settlement of global and regional security issues and co-operation mechanisms that ASEAN holds the central role in, along with the two sides’ proposals and initiatives to maintain a peaceful and stable environment, Minister Lịch noted.
According to him, in the spirit of equality and mutual respect and on the basis of the two countries’ traditional friendship, the problems in Việt Nam-China relations need to be settled in conformity with high-level agreements between their leaders.
He added that in 2020, Việt Nam will hold the ASEAN Chairmanship and act as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. It welcomes and appreciates support from all countries in and outside the region to fulfill its new duties.
On the occasion of the 10th founding anniversary of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, Việt Nam proposes ASEAN and partner countries together build a strategic vision on security in Asia-Pacific to serve as a foundation to orient co-operation frameworks and targets, for an Asian-Pacific region of peace, stability, friendship and prosperity that can become an example of co-operation in the world, the Vietnamese official said.
The Beijing Xiangshan Forum is held annually to discuss regional security issues. This year’s event is scheduled to last through Tuesday. — VNS