Addressing a plenary session on security in Asia-Pacific, Minister Giang underlined the region's importance, which attracts the interest and presence of many countries outside the region, particularly world powers. This interest opens up opportunities for cooperation and development but at the same time results in geo-political competition and intertwined and friction of strategic interests.
Besides, the region is also facing non-conventional security issues that are growing serious such as natural disasters, epidemics (for example COVID-19), climate change, energy security, cyber security, water resource security, terrorism and transnational crime.
To tackle those non-traditional security challenges, the minister called for unity, collaboration, and contributions from countries not only inside the region but worldwide.
To ensure an environment of peace, stability and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific, he said it is essential to have political trust, strategic confidence, goodwill cooperation for mutual development, equality and respect among nations.
Respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests of each country, as well as the right to self-determination of each people, is also crucial.
The Vietnamese minister called for upholding international law, adhering to regional commitments, showing due consideration to the security concerns of each nation, and persistently resolving differences and conflicts through peaceful means.
Vietnam firmly adheres to the principle of settling disputes and differences in the East Sea through peaceful means, based on respect for independence, sovereignty, and legitimate interests of nations, compliance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), he said.
He affirmed that Vietnam is committed to strictly implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and wish to work toward an effective, substantial Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) with clearer legalities.
In international relations, Vietnam maintains a consistent foreign policy of peace, friendship, cooperation and development, he said, adding that Vietnam advocates being a friend of all nations, a responsible and reliable partner in the international community, refraining from military alliances or bloc affiliations, and avoiding taking sides in international affairs.
Vietnam respects the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, upholds high-level international responsibilities and obligations, and always seeks to positively contribute to global and regional peace, stability, development and prosperity, the minister stressed.
On the occasion, Giang announced a plan to organise the Vietnam International Defence Expo 2024, which coincides with the 80th founding anniversary of the Vietnam People's Army. He hoped that countries will send delegations to the event.
On the sidelines of the MCIS-11, Minister Giang held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, during which he affirmed that Vietnam always values the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia, in line with the Joint Statement on Vision for Development of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and Russia until 2030.
Shoigu, for his part, confirmed that the two defence ministries have accumulated significant cooperation experience, with the longstanding friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation as a key foundation.
The two ministers pledged to effectively implement cooperation activities, focusing on maintaining the effectiveness of important cooperation mechanisms such as deputy ministerial-level strategic defence dialogue and the Inter-Governmental Commission on the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre.
Both sides will continue joining and working closely together at the International Army Games, support multinational international activities organised by each other's defence ministries, enhancing training cooperation and expanding joint scientific studies, while considering collaboration in other areas such as the United Nations peacekeeping activities, cyber security, logistics and technical support.
Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang also had a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Senior Lieutenant General Li Shangfu, during which the Vietnamese officer expressed his sympathy with Li about great losses of human and assets caused by the recent storm in some localities of China, including Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei.
The two ministers reaffirmed that defence cooperation is one of the important pillars of the Vietnam - China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
They agreed to further promote defence cooperation in order to realise the cooperation contents reached by the two countries' senior leaders during the official visit to China by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong in a bid to develop the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two nations in a healthy and stable manner.
The two ministers underlined the importance and significance of the 8th Vietnam-China Border Defence Friendship Exchange slated for September this year, expressing their belief that the programme will be a success, helping to enhance political trust between the two countries. Giang invited Li to pay an official visit to Vietnam on this occasion.
On the sidelines of MCIS-11, Giang also had a meeting with Mongolian Defence Minister Saikhanbayar Gursed to discuss measures to promote defence cooperation between the two countries.
Previously, Giang met with General Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the National Security Council of the Russian Federation. Giang suggested the Russian officer continue to pay attention to prioritising defence cooperation relations with Vietnam.
Patrushev emphasised defense-security cooperation as one of the important pillars of the comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia, contributing to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
He believed that in the coming time, the traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries will continue to develop stronger, especially in defence cooperation.
Giang also had a bilateral meeting with Belarusian Defence Minister Lieutenant General Viktor Gennadievich Khrenin on the sidelines of the Army 2023 International Military-Technical Forum. He invited Khrenin to visit Vietnam in the coming time./. VNA