Scene at the deputy ministerial-level defence strategic dialogue
between Vietnam and China  (Photo: VNA)

Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh and Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission co-chaired the function. 

In his opening speech, Vinh stated that the two countries can tackle current differences and gain mutual benefits with political efforts from the two Party leaders and correct perception of both militaries. 

Sun Jianguo pointed to the importance of the 6th dialogue as it was held 25 years after the two countries normalised their relations, adding that the long-lasting friendship has been fostered by generations of leaders. 

The two chairs expressed that they are pleased with the thriving bilateral military cooperation, contributing to the Vietnam-China strategic comprehensive cooperative partnership. 

Since the previous defence strategic dialogue, upbeat outcomes have been recorded in delegation exchanges, education-training and naval collaboration. The sides operated their hotline and exchanged experience in participating in UN peacekeeping missions. Their annual border defence friendship exchanges have been considered a highlight in joint activities. 

Vinh and Sun agreed to maintain the pace of and expand collaboration in a number of fields, including press exchanges, defence industry as well as teaching Chinese and Vietnamese. 

They acknowledged that both sides should carry out groundwork for the signing of documents on the Vietnam-China military cooperation joint vision and the systematisation of Vietnam-China border defence friendship exchanges. 

They highlighted the need for proper preparation of their upcoming border defence friendship exchange slated for early 2017. 

They hoped that the Vietnamese Institute for Military Strategy and the Chinese Academy of Military Science to promptly implement a join project on collection of documents and memorabilia about the friendship between the two countries’ armies and the Ho Chi Minh-Mao Zedong ideology on solidarity during the resistance wars against France and the US. 

Concerning regional security, Sun said China wants to develop friendly relations with its neighbouring countries, while Vinh stated that Vietnam welcomes increased collaboration between China and ASEAN member states for peace and stability in the region. 

The officials frankly talked about the two countries’ differences regarding the East Sea issue. 

They achieved consensus on well controlling disagreements and increasing education to raise awareness of the two countries’ military personnel and people on respecting common perceptions reached by their Party and State leaders. 

Vinh reiterated Vietnam’s persistent stance that all parties involved ought to settle disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

They should seriously implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon complete the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), he added. 

“We are determined to protect our sovereignty, abide by international law, respect benefits of side involved, and prevent disagreements from developing into conflicts,” Vinh stated. 

At the meeting, China also briefed on its military reform and the 6th plenary session of its 18th Party central committee. 

The next dialogue will be held in Vietnam next year./.