|Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich (R) and his Chinese counterpart Sen. Lt. Gen. Wei Fenghe.
The talks were held between General Ngo Xuan Lich – Politburo member, Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission and Minister of National Defence of Vietnam – and Sen. Lt. Gen. Wei Fenghe – State Councillor and Minister of National Defence of China, who is making an official visit to Vietnam from May 27-29.
Both sides discussed current affairs in their respective countries and defence relations, particularly the implementation of the 2003 protocol on bilateral defence cooperation and the 2017 joint vision statement on defence cooperation until 2025.
They agreed that recent progress in defence ties indicates the high political trust between the two nations while applauding practical cooperation activities that meet the demand and capacity of each side as well as the strengthening of high-level meetings and mutual visits by leaders of the two defence ministries.
Some cooperation mechanisms have been built and expanded, including the defence strategy dialogue, young officers’ exchanges, joint patrols on the Gulf of Tonkin, border defence friendship exchanges, and cooperation activities between border military zones, they noted.
2019 has been identified as the year for breakthroughs in defence cooperation on the thresholds of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam-China diplomatic ties in 2020.
They consented to continue stepping up defence links in terms of Party-related and political works, finalize joint historical studies and documentaries, boost cooperation in military medicine, the defence industry, and United Nations peacekeeping, and promote ties between the countries’ naval and air force services.
Greater attention will be paid to border defence friendship exchange programmes, along with relations between military zones and border guard, naval, and air forces of Vietnam with the southern military region of China.
With regard to outstanding issues, the two sides underlined the need to peacefully deal with the problems to ensure firm mutual trust, and build a peaceful environment in the East Sea.
A peaceful environment in the East Sea built by the two sides will benefit both China and Vietnam as well as partners who desire to cooperate with the two countries for common development, they said.
Following the talks, host and guest witnessed the signing of several cooperation agreements between the two ministries’ relevant agencies, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on military medicine cooperation, an agreement on military staff training in the 2019-2020 academic year, and an MoU on military education between the National Defence Academy of Vietnam and the National Defence University of China. The Chinese defence ministry also presented medical and search and rescue equipment to its Vietnamese counterpart.
On this occasion, Minister Ngo Xuan Lich invited his counterpart Wei Fenghe to attend the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus and send naval ships to the maritime security drill and the international naval parade in Vietnam in 2020 when the country assumes its role as ASEAN Chair.