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Nov 28, 2019 / 09:51

What’s new in Vietnam 2019 Defense White Paper?

Vietnam emphasizes self-sufficiency and reaffirms the "Three No's" policy which is now added with one point: not use force or threaten to use force in international relations.

Vietnam published on November 25 its Defense White Paper 2019 which highlights the country’s consistent ‘Three No's” policy and commitment to self-sufficiency.

 Vietnam's 2019 Defense White Paper. Photo: Plo

Colonel General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defense Minister said in comments published in a Ministry of National Defense (MND) press release that the White Paper “confirms the basic views” that Vietnam will not form military alliances with other countries, will not align with one country against another, and will not allow foreign military bases on Vietnamese soil.

Vinh also indicated the inclusion in the 2019 White Paper of a “Fourth No's" policy which emphasizes that Vietnam will not use force or threaten to use force in international relations.

The White Paper includes three parts: strategic context; a framework for defense policy; and the development of the Vietnam People’s Armed Forces. The Ministry of National Defense provided no further details about the policy document, according to Janes.

 Vietnam's defense spending in 2010-2018. Source: Ministry of National Defense. Chart: Linh Pham

In addition, local media quoted Vinh as saying that the 2019 White Paper also outlines a commitment to “introduce modern equipment” and continue to build defense and diplomacy ties with the international community.

He added that other priorities contained in the White Paper include the requirement to continue to enhance Vietnam’s self-reliance by “building and enhancing weapons and equipment”, and to provide a level of defense investment that is “in line with the country’s economic development”.

The 2019 Defense White Paper stated that the country’s defense policy is resolute and persistent in solving all disputes and disagreements by peaceful means based on international law and implementing the motto of “defending the country with a clear vision very early and getting ready to fight invasion wars.”

The 2019 White Paper, which is the fourth of its kind publicized in 1998, 2004, 2009, is published in Vietnamese and English to be available to domestic and foreign agencies, embassies, and military attaches.

The white paper also reveals spending for defense, which accounted for 2.23% of GDP in 2010, 2.82% in 2011, 2.88% in 2012, 2.51% in 2017, and 2.36% in 2018.