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Việt Nam, Philippines strengthen defence cooperation, affirm commitment to COC in East Sea

VIETNAM, November 22 -  


HÀ NỘI — Minister of National Defence General Phan Văn Giang hosted a reception in Hà Nội on Wednesday for Philippine Undersecretary of National Defence Irineo Cruz Espino, who is in Việt Nam for the fifth Việt Nam-Philippine defence policy dialogue.

Giang affirmed that Việt Nam attaches great importance to consolidating and strengthening its strategic partnership with the Philippines, and is determined to work with the country to bring the bilateral relationship to a new level, for peace, stability and prosperous development in the region and the world.

Emphasising the enhanced defence cooperation, the minister suggested the two sides work harder to make it more practical and effective, contributing to deepening the Việt Nam-Philippines strategic partnership.

Giang used the occasion to invite leaders of the Philippine Department of National Defence (DND), armed forces and businesses to attend the Việt Nam International Defence Expo next year.

For his part, Espino stressed that the DND will fully implement contents in the agreement inked by the two ministries as well as common perceptions reached by high-ranking leaders of the two countries, and expressed his hope to welcome the Vietnamese minister in the Philippines in the time ahead.


Earlier the same day, the Philippine military official and Vietnamese counterpart Sen. Lieut. Gen. Hoàng Xuân Chiến co-chaired the fifth defence policy dialogue in Hà Nội, during which they reviewed cooperation outcomes since the previous meeting in 2019, exchanged views on issues of mutual concern at the strategic level, and agreed on defence cooperation orientations.

Both noted remarkable achievements in all-level delegation exchange, and maintaining consultation and dialogue mechanisms.

They spoke highly of ASEAN-led mechanisms, and pledged to make efforts to contribute to consolidating and enhancing the grouping’s solidarity and centrality in the regional security architecture.

The officials highlighted the importance of ensuring freedom, security, and safety of navigation and overflight in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea), and the need to promote commitments and the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and soon conclude negotiations and sign a substantive, effective Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They concurred to foster the bilateral defence cooperation, making it more practical and effective, with a focus on delegation exchange; carry forward existing cooperation mechanisms, particularly consultation mechanisms and the defence policy dialogue; step up collaboration in training; pay more attention to cooperation in logistics; and enhance cooperation in such areas as military medicine, search and rescue operations, and defence industry.

The two sides will also maintain their consultation and mutual support at multilateral forums and mechanisms, especially those led by ASEAN. — VNS