The meeting was co-chaired by Brunei’s Second Minister of Defense Pehin Datu Lailaraja Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Md Yussof and Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton.

The event was attended by defense ministers, or representatives, of ASEAN's defense ministries and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi. Deputy Defense Minister Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien led the Vietnamese delegation.

Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien attends the meeting.

Following the first informal meeting in Hanoi in February 2020, attendees hailed the organization of the second informal meeting between ASEAN and Australian defense ministers. They also applauded the establishment of the ASEAN-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership at the recent ASEAN-Australia Summit, marking an important milestone in the cooperation between the two sides.

Meanwhile, participants welcomed Australia’s proposal for a vision document on defense cooperation with ASEAN, saying it creates a basis for the orientation of ASEAN-Australia defense ties in the coming time, promotes ASEAN’s centrality, respects international law, and ensures regional security and safety, including in the East Sea (South China Sea).

During the event

The delegates appreciated Australia’s contribution to the ADMM Plus and complimented Brunei’s role as co-chair of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Military Medicine. They also discussed the direction for defense cooperation in the time to come to ensure that Australia’s proposals are in line with ASEAN’s priorities.

For his part, Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN-Australia ties after the two sides’ decision to their upgrade relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership at their first ASEAN-Australia Summit. The deal paved the way for boosting their cooperation, including defense ties.

The Vietnamese deputy defense minister also lauded Australia’s participation in the ADMM Plus, especially its practical activities via experts’ working groups.

He also thanked Australia for their timely support for ASEAN member states, including Vietnam, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Translated by Minh Anh