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Vietnam attends 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum

A high-ranking military delegation of Vietnam is taking part in the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum that opened in Beijing on October 21.

The forum, themed “Maintaining International Order and Promoting Peace in the Asia-Pacific”, attracts hundreds of defence and military leaders, along with experts from many countries and organisations around the world.

Addressing a plenary session on security risk management in Asia-Pacific, General Ngo Xuan Lich, Politburo member, Vice Secretary of the Central Military Commission and Minister of National Defence of Vietnam, said there are many latent complex and unpredictable factors in the political and security environment of the region which pose a number of security challenges and risks, both traditional and non-traditional.

To manage well security risks in Asia-Pacific, he called on all countries to uphold the rule of law and mutual respect in international relations as well as in the settlement of disputes and differences, enhance powers’ sense of responsibility, bring into play the role and effectiveness of bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms in building trust and managing security in the region, and resolve disputes by peaceful means in the partnership spirit and for the responsibility towards the community.

Regarding the East Sea situation, Lich said this area faces numerous security risks due to impact of many factors, including competition among powers, sovereignty disputes, and non-traditional security issues.

The East Sea situation is still developing complicatedly, and if it is not resolved well, the regional peace and stability will be affected, trust among countries eroded, and cooperation efforts in the region hampered, he stressed.

The minister emphasised Vietnam’s stance of supporting and protecting the freedom of passage, security, and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea in line with international law.

Vietnam persists with the policy of resolving the East Sea issue by peaceful measures in line with international law and practice, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, he said.

The East Sea issue must be handled by peaceful measures, not using force or threatening to use force, basing on international law, and respecting legitimate interests of each country in the partnership spirit and for the responsibility towards the community, Lich stressed, adding that Vietnam pledges to, together with other countries, strive to foster cooperation so as to build the East Sea into an area of peace, stability and development, for the sake of all countries in and outside the region.

In his speech, the official also affirmed that the security and stability of China and ASEAN countries are inseparable. Therefore, the two sides have always respected and bolstered cooperation in all spheres, with defence and security being important pillars.

Vietnam highly values China’s contributions to development cooperation, the settlement of global and regional security issues, the cooperation mechanisms that ASEAN holds the central role, along with the two sides’ proposals and initiatives to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for the sake of each country and the whole region, Minister Lich noted.

According to him, in the spirit of equality and mutual respect and on the basis of the two countries’ traditional solidarity and friendship, the outstanding problems in Vietnam-China relations need to be persistently settled in conformity with the high-level agreements between their leaders, thus meeting the two peoples’ aspirations and contributing to regional peace, stability and development.

He added that in 2020, Vietnam will hold the ASEAN Chairmanship and act as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. It welcomes and appreciates practical support and cooperation of all countries in and outside the region to fulfill its new duties.

On the occasion of the 10th founding anniversary of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus – one of the most effective security management mechanisms in the region - Vietnam proposes ASEAN and partner countries to together build a strategic vision on security in Asia-Pacific to serve as a foundation to orient cooperation frameworks and targets in the time ahead, for an Asian-Pacific region of peace, stability, friendship and prosperity that can become an example of cooperation in the world, the Vietnamese official said.

The Beijing Xiangshan Forum is held annually to discuss regional security issues. This year’s event is scheduled to last through October 22.