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Dec 15, 2019 / 00:41

Vietnam, US hold defense policy dialogue in Washington DC

Vietnam has appeared to be a valuable partner for Washington in the Indo-Pacific region amid China’s militarization of islands in the South China Sea.

The Vietnam – US defense policy dialogue took place at the US Department of Defense in Washington DC on December 11 with regional and international issues of mutual concerns put in the spotlight.

The US – Vietnam Defense Policy Dialogue took place in Washington DC on Dec 11. Photo: VNA 

Sen. Lieut. Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of National Defense, and US Assistant Secretary of Defense Randall Schriver co-chaired the dialogue, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

Randall Schriver said defense cooperation has been a highlight in the Vietnam – US relations and the two sides are working to enhance the ties in the coming time, particularly in maritime security, UN peacekeeping activities, and humanitarian aid.

He affirmed that the US always stressed the importance of the comprehensive partnership with Vietnam, and hopes for a strong, independent and prosperous Vietnam with an increasingly important role in the Indo-Pacific region.

At the dialogue, Vinh thanked the US for transferring the second Hamilton-class cutter to Vietnam, supporting the nation in the UN peacekeeping mission, and helping the Vietnamese Coast Guard improve law enforcement capacity in the past time.

Vinh suggested both sides step up current cooperation, especially the dioxin remediation. He highlighted both sides’ efforts in implementing the dioxin detoxification project at Bien Hoa Airbase which was kicked off on December 5.

On this occasion, Vinh introduced Vietnam’s 2019 White Paper on National Defense and the country’s initiatives in the ASEAN Year 2020, expecting to receive US support.

Meanwhile, Randall Schriver emphasized that the US backs Vietnam’s initiatives in the ASEAN Year 2020, and as a member of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM), the US will enhance cooperation with ADMM member states to develop the ADMM in a practical manner, contributing to the regional peace, stability, and development.

The US also considers the settlement of war consequences part of the defense cooperation, Randall Schriver said, expressing his gratitude to Vietnam’s support in the search for missing servicemen.

In the framework of the dialogue, Vinh paid a courtesy visit to Senator Patrick Leahy, the ranking member of the Appropriations Committee of the US Senate, and met with US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Ashley Ford.

Vietnam – US defense ties once again affirmed

At a panel discussing the US – Vietnam strategic cooperation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington in April, Randall Schriver said Vietnam has appeared to be a valuable partner for Washington in the Indo-Pacific region.

Randall Schriver noted that the defense relationship between the US and Vietnam is strong and represents one of the strongest pillars in the multifaceted bilateral relationship.

He said that the defense relationship with Vietnam has been strengthened even more over the last two years and plans are to keep strengthening it based on a foundation of shared interests.

Schriver said the US and Vietnam share a common interest in promoting a rules-based order, protection of sovereignty, and individual rights of countries, no matter their size.

“The region is increasingly confronted with a more assertive, confident China that is willing to accept friction in the pursuit of its interests,” the US Department of Defense quoted Schriver as saying, citing China’s militarization of islands in the South China Sea as an example.