|Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh (Photo: VNA)
Talking to Vietnam News Agency reporters in Singapore after the three-day event, the Deputy Defence Minister noted that the record number of governmental delegations from 57 nations and territories to the event demonstrated the countries’ attention to the region’s peace, stability and security.
Secondly, countries all share the perception on preserving peace and security regardless of what they want to do.
According to Vinh, the speech made by Vietnam’s Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich contributed greatly to the Shangri-La Dialogue’s success in creating a peaceful environment and principles and formulas to address disputes.
Minister Lich’s speech mentioned many sensitive issues in the region, such as disputes on sovereignty, political regime, trade, or science-technology, and the East Sea is also an issue of attention at the event, Vinh said, adding that the minister had particularly underlined the importance of a peaceful environment for settling disputes between countries or groups of countries. Without such an environment, the risk of conflicts, event wars, would be very high and very near.
An example cited by Minister Lich was the dispute on the East Sea between Vietnam and China. The minister said the territorial dispute can only be solved when two countries consider each other partners and respect international law and mutual interests.
In his speech, the Vietnamese minister also talked about Vietnam’s ideas to maintain regional peace and stability, as well as to promote cooperation in addressing trans-national security challenges, especially in 2020 when Vietnam takes over the rotary Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Vietnam plans many activities in the framework of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM Plus, including a Hanoi declaration of ASEAN defence ministers on enhancing the efficiency of ASEAN defence partnership and the bloc’s unity and solidarity to cope with regional challenges.
As Chair of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam also hopes to outline a strategic vision for Asia-Pacific in the framework of ADMM Plus which will cover all security issues in 2010-2020 and in the next 10 years. Minister Lich informed that Vietnam is considering ways to improve the quality of ADMM Plus cooperation, and increase the responsibility of powerful members in the framework towards regional peace and stability. Meanwhile, many countries, including several powers such as the UK, France and the EU, have expressed their wish to join the ADMM Plus, which is an opportunity to promote the openness and inclusiveness of the mechanism.
Regarding the speeches of the US and Chinese defence ministers, Deputy Minister Vinh said the two countries have made rather reserved statements, which show that despite competition and dispute, no country wants to break the ties or be affected by instability. However great the dispute is, the two powers want to seek acceptable solutions, Vinh said, added that all eyes are on the two countries’ actions in reality, particularly their attitudes to smaller countries.