The meeting was co-chaired by Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, Minister of Defence II of Brunei Darussalam and Chinese Defense Minister Senior Lieutenant General Wei Fenghe.

Defense Minister Sr. Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang (C) leads the Vietnamese delegation

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Defense Minister Sr. Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang.

In his opening remarks, the Bruneian official stressed that the organization of this informal meeting amid the complicated development of COVID-19 demonstrates the friendly ties and high determination of ASEAN and the bloc’s old partner China. The meeting took place as ASEAN and China have been celebrating 30 years of dialogue relations (1991-2021).

According to the Bruneian official, at the Special ASEAN - China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Chongqing, China on June 7, delegates reviewed milestones and achievements of the ASEAN - China dialogue relations over the past three decades. They agreed that both sides would develop creative approaches to promote their cooperation in the future.

He added that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to test both sides’ resilience to boost regional cooperation and stressed that with the cooperation, countries will control the pandemic and cope with regional security challenges.

At the meeting, delegates reviewed the good results of the ASEAN-China defense cooperation, proposed ideas for bilateral defense ties, and exchanged viewpoints on regional and global situations of common concern.

At the virtual event

In his speech, Vietnamese Defense Minister Phan Van Giang stressed the importance of the ASEAN - China cooperation to the peace and stability of the region.

He highly valued China’s role and the ASEAN - China defense-security cooperation in the past, especially within the frameworks of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

The Vietnamese defense chief also voiced his support for China’s proposals on increasing mutual understanding and trust through young officer exchanges, and exchanges among defense research institutes of ASEAN and China.

He backed the establishment of a hotline between ASEAN and China defense ministers on the basis of the ASEAN direct communications infrastructure.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the Vietnamese minister suggested all involved parties should create favorable conditions for the negotiation on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) via trust building measures, refraining from actions that can further complicate the situation, and resolving disputes in a peaceful manner in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Translated by Chung Anh