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May 28, 2019 / 11:50

China, Vietnam defense ministers discuss South China Sea issues in Hanoi

The two sides agree to jointly build a peaceful environment in the South China Sea, which is referred to as the East Sea in Vietnam.

Chinese Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe is on his visit to Hanoi (May 27-28) where he has discussed South China Sea issues with Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich. 
Vietnamese Minister of Defense Ngo Xuan Lich and Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese Minister of Defense Ngo Xuan Lich and Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Wei Fenghe and Ngo Xuan Lich both agreed that settlement of disputes must be based on peaceful means, reliability, and affirmed determination for peace in the sea, the Vietnamese government said on its website.   
They also affirmed that the peace built by joint efforts would not only be for the sake of Vietnam and China but for countries which partner with both.
At the talks held on May 27, the two ministers reviewed the implementation of the 2003 memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral defense cooperation and the 2017 joint vision statement on defense cooperation until 2025.
They discussed some cooperation mechanisms on defense strategy dialogue, young officer exchanges, joint patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin, border guard friendship exchanges, and exchanges of border military zones.
A joint working session. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A joint working session. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The ministers consented to step up defense links to boost cooperation in military medicine, defense industry, the United Nations peacekeeping, and between naval and air force services.
After the talks, the signing of several cooperation agreements between the two ministries took place in the presence of the two ministers. 
The documents include an 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 Defense Academy of Vietnam and the National Defense University of China. 
On this occasion, the Chinese defense ministry presented medical and search and rescue equipment to the Vietnamese counterpart.
At the meeting, Ngo Xuan Lich invited Wei Fenghe to attend the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) and send naval ships to the maritime security drills and the international naval parade in Vietnam in 2020 when the country takes on the ASEAN Chairmanship.