Adams said the U.K. wants to strengthen the comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam in politics, economy, and national defense and security, in the context of the U.K. adjusting its policy towards the Indo-Pacific.

Dung spoke highly of the development of the Vietnam-U.K. strategic partnership, and suggested the U.K. continue to help Vietnam access vaccines supplies and provide the country with medical equipment like ventilators and quick test kits so that Vietnam can quickly stamp out the resurgence of COVID-19.

At the talks between Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung and British Minister of State for Asia Nigel Adams

The two sides agreed to step up meetings between their high-ranking leaders, both online and in-person, and soon resume regular delegation exchanges and major cooperation mechanisms such as the strategic defense and security dialogue at the deputy foreign ministerial level.

Regarding economic cooperation, they emphasized the need to closely coordinate to popularize and optimize opportunities generated by the U.K.-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) to create breakthroughs in trade and investment ties in potential fields like digital economy, smart urban areas, financial services and renewable energy.

They also consented to continue their close coordination at multilateral forums, especially the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during Vietnam's tenure as a non-permanent member (2020-2021), and within the framework of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) forum.

Adams said he hopes that Vietnam will further support the U.K. in its effort to become a dialogue partner of ASEAN, as well as in negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The officials exchanged views on regional and international issues of shared concern, and stressed the significance of ensuring the freedom of navigation and aviation, security and peace in the East Sea, and upholding international law, with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) considered a “charter on sea and ocean,” and a legal framework for all maritime activities.

Adams is accompanying U.K. Secretary of State for Defense Robert Ben Lobban Wallace in an official visit to Vietnam.

As part of the visit, Wallace on July 22 visited the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, where he held a dialogue with Vietnamese scholars and students of the academy.

He said through the strategy tilting towards the Asia-Pacific released last March, the U.K. has affirmed its long-term commitment to peace and stability in the region.

Challenges and security at sea in the region have remained a common concern of the international community, Wallace said, explaining that they have affected regional peace and stability, as well as the rule of law. 

Given this, the U.K. wishes to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN countries in the “ASEAN way” to promote dialogues and common peace and stability, he said, stressing that as a permanent member of the UNSC, the UK has a duty to protect the rules-based international order.

Wallace lauded Vietnam’s increasing role not only in the region but also in global issues, as proven in the country’s contributions to U.N. peacekeeping operations.

The U.K. and Vietnam share many strategic visions and interests, such as the views on free trade and the significance of international law, including the UNCLOS 1982, he said.

The U.K. will continue its close coordination with Vietnam to boost cooperation within the Vietnam-U.K. strategic partnership, he pledged.

Wallace and Adams exchanged views with Vietnamese scholars on the regional situation, as well as the U.K.’s role and contributions to the region and orientations to strengthen the partnership.

Source: VNA