Vietnam, China advocate stronger defence ties

Vietnam and China want to bring bilateral defence relations to a new height, said Lieut. Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich, Head of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) General Department of Politics.

Lich, who is also Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Member of the Standing Committee of the Party Central Military Commission, made the statement at the end of his official visit to China.

Lieut. Gen. Lich said the visit aimed to assess results of defence and military cooperation between the two countries, with a focus on cooperation between the VPA General Department of Politics and the General Political Department of the China People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The two sides discussed measures to expand and deepen the defence and military cooperation between the two countries with a view to strengthening the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, he said.

Lieut. Gen. Lich spoke highly of the success of the visit, saying that at the talks and meetings, Chinese leaders agreed with the Party, the State, the army and the people of Vietnam on the need to promote solidarity, friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

The two sides were pleased to see that defence and military cooperation between the two countries in recent years has contributed to building political trust and mutual understanding between the two countries.

Both Vietnam and China considered defence and military cooperation one of the pillars in the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Lieut. Gen. Lich said that there are still different perceptions between the two sides. Recent incidents caused temporary difficulties for the two countries’ relations, but the two sides arrived at an important decision not to let the issue hamper the development of the fine bilateral relations.

The border issue in general is a complicated matter left by history, he said, adding that if the two sides are determined to conduct talks based on international law and the comradeship, it can be completely solved, Lich stressed.

Both sides believe disputes in the East Sea are likely to be settled as successfully as the land border and the Tonkin Gulf issues.

Immediately, parties need to remain calm, refrain, not use force or threaten use of force to make the situation tense, Lich said.

Issues related to two parties need to be solved bilaterally and issues relating to many parties need to be solved multilaterally, he added.

During the visit to China, the Vietnamese delegation had once again made clear the consistent viewpoint, stance and attitude of the Vietnamese Party and State on protection of territorial sovereignty, pursuing the settlement of disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures, on the basis of international law, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), respecting territorial sovereignty and the interests of all related parties, while absolutely preventing conflict.

The Chinese side attaches importance to developing friendly neighbourliness and cooperation for the mutual interests with the Vietnamese Party, State, people and army, Lieut. Gen. Lich said.

He affirmed the two armies’ responsibility for implementing their exemplary and core role, fostering the solidarity, friendship and cooperation of “both comrades and bothers”, and bringing the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to a new height.

VNA/VOV