At the meeting between Defense Ministers of ASEAN and China, Chinese Minister Wei Fenghe suggested several initiatives to boost the defense cooperation between his country and ASEAN member states, including the establishment of an ASEAN-China direct hotline and exchanges of young officers and middle-ranking officers.

At the ASEAN-China Defense Ministers' informal meeting

The Chinese minister also stressed the developments of ASEAN-China defense ties and pledged to build a closer ASEAN-China community for a common future.

ASEAN Defense Ministers highly valued the meeting with the Chinese counterpart in the context that ASEAN and China are celebrating the 15th anniversary of their strategic partnership this year and confirmed the wish to build a strong defense cooperation between the two sides.

They voiced their support for the Chinese side’s proposals, emphasizing that they would help boost mutual trust and friendship among military forces and defense agencies of ASEAN member states and between those of ASEAN and China.

At the meeting, Vietnamese Defense Minister, General Ngo Xuan Lich talked about the border friendship exchanges between Vietnam and three neighboring countries of China, Laos and Cambodia, adding that the exchange is among highlights of exchanges and sharing of experience in border management and in dealing with cross-border crimes, joint search and rescue exercises, and health-check-ups for people in border areas, contributing to boosting mutual trust and understanding among the countries.

General Lich also shared experience gained during the exchange of border protection forces among four countries, including China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam and the recent exchange, the third of its kind, in August this year with two more invited guests, namely Myanmar and Thailand.

General Lich said that Vietnam is willing to share experience with ASEAN member countries in this biennial-organized exchange and wants to invite them to take part in it in the future.

At the meeting between ASEAN Defense Ministers and their US counterpart James Mattis

Meanwhile, meeting with ASEAN Defense Ministers, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis underscored that the US and ASEAN have maintained a close ties for more than 40 years. On the ground of the ties, the US continues to commit itself to supporting ASEAN in navigation security and law enforcement at sea, counter-terrorism and counter-extremism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, building capacity in international law, UN peacekeeping operations, responses to chemical, biological, radioactive and cyber security threats.

On the occasion, ASEAN and the US Defense Ministers agreed on the conduct of a joint maritime exercise in 2019, saying that it is a useful measure to strengthen capability and cooperation of naval forces in the region.

Addressing the meeting, General Lich acknowledged US great efforts in counter-terrorism cooperation with ASEAN over the past time and stressed that Vietnam reaffirms its standpoints on fighting terrorism, and supporting cooperation among countries in eliminating international terrorism. He voiced his hope that the US will continue to further its cooperation with ASEAN in the field, especially provision of resources and training to ASEAN member states.

The Vietnamese Defense Minister wished the US to continue to support ASEAN and related parties in their efforts to boost the full and serious implementation of DOC (Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, or South China Sea) and substantive negotiations to achieve an effective COC (Code of Conduct in the East Sea, or South China Sea) for regional peace, security and stability.

He added that Vietnam wishes the US, with its high sense of responsibility, to further cooperate with and join hands with ASEAN in building a region of stability, peace and prosperity for the sake of all peoples.

Translated by Mai Huong