Vietnam, Australia hold fifth defence policy dialogue

Sen. Lieut. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien, Deputy Minister of National Defence of Vietnam and Peter Tesch, Deputy Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Industry at Australia’s Department of Defence, co-chaired the two countries’ fifth defence policy dialogue on December 1.

At the virtual event, the to sides affirmed that the Vietnam - Australia strategic partnership, particularly defence collaboration, has been maintained and promoted over the past time, actively contributing to peace, stability and common development in the region and the world at large.

Exchanging views on the global and regional issues of mutual concern, they shared a common stance regarding the East Sea issue.

Both emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the waters, and of settling disputes at sea by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

It is also necessary to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) as well as to speed up negotiations to soon achieve an efficient and effective code of conduct (COC) in the waters in line with international law, they added.

The two sides agreed to continue to maintain and foster the defence ties and approve a three-year bilateral defence cooperation plan for the 2022-2024 period. They stated that both countries are responsible members of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM ) and regularly consult and support each other at regional forums.

Chien praised the Australian Department of Defence’s proposal of donating medical equipment and supplies to Vietnam. He hoped for further Australian assistance to Vietnam regarding UN peacekeeping mission.

He stressed Vietnam supports the ASEAN-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership and is ready to effectively implement the outcomes of the second informal ASEAN-Australia Defence Ministers' Meeting on the basis of the bloc’s consensus.

Tesch informed that Australia has committed to helping Vietnam transport its level-2 field hospital to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan in 2022 and to donating some equipment to improve the capacity of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Earlier, Chien also received Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie.

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