Reporter: Could you please evaluate the outcomes of the 5th Vietnam-China Border Defense Friendship Exchange?

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh: The 5th Vietnam-China Border Defense Friendship Exchange has closed successfully. On November 19, having arrived in China, a Vietnamese delegation had talks with the Chinese side to review five years of border defense friendship exchange and visited a unit of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and Shiukou School. The Vietnamese delegation, led by Minister Ngo Xuan Lich and Chinese delegation headed by his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe visited the Longzhou historical site where President Ho Chi Minh had lived before returning to Vietnam to build the revolutionary base in Cao Bang province. On November 20, a Chinese delegation came to Vietnam for a joint exercise on search and rescue and joint military medicine activities. The bilateral talks were also held the same day.

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh

Like previous four editions, the fifth event aimed to strengthen defense cooperation between the two militaries to contribute to promoting relations between the two Parties, States and people. This year’s Vietnam-China Border Defense Friendship Exchange was ended with a success and reached the set targets. The two defense ministers agreed to formalize the cooperation mechanism to turn it into a long-term, stable and increasingly developed one in the coming years. 

Reporter: How did the fifth Vietnam-China Border Defense Friendship Exchange attract the participation of civilians?

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh: All the five editions of the event attracted the active participation of local people of the two countries. The success of the fifth edition resulted from the outcomes of the previous events and good information dissemination of the two countries. Apart from welcoming delegations, Vietnamese and Chinese civilians and troops actively participated in joint exercises and activities. All people were aware of the importance of defense cooperation activities at the high level as well as practical activities, including joint search and rescue drill and joint military medicine program. As a part of the exchange, the Vietnamese Defense Ministry built a cultural house for Phuc Hoa district, Cao Bang province, making a positive change in the look of the border locality of Vietnam and promoting the development of relationship among border localities in both diplomatic and socio-economic aspects.

Reporter: It is said that at the previous four events, Vietnam and China had built similar projects in Phuc Hoa district. What did these projects benefit the local people in the past years?

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh: Returning to the cultural houses and other joint projects built by the military units of Vietnam and China during the previous exchanges for local people, we can see that these projects have been operating effectively. They have served as a cultural venue of local people as well as a friendship house. On the festive days and important celebrations, people of the two countries hosted cultural events and exchanges there. Although these projects are not large in space, they are positively significant to relations between border people in particular and two countries in general.

Reporter: With the outcomes of this year’s event, what form will future editions of the exchange follow so as to contribute more positively to the defense cooperation between the two countries, Mr. Deputy Defense Minister?

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh: In fact, many things should be done to promote Vietnam-China defense cooperation while the border defense friendship exchange is just one. However, this exchange is a specific event only held by Vietnam and China.

Firstly, the two countries share a borderline. Secondly, they have a long-time relationship. While visiting Longzhou historical site, Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich was touched and said that generations of former revolutionaries built up such a good relationship so we should do our best to preserve the solidarity and friendship with China. 

Another particular point is that the two Parties and States share the same view that the two sides should take full advantage of geographic convenience and similar political institutions to expand bilateral cooperation.

Based on the above-mentioned points, I believe that the border defense friendship exchange mechanism will continue actively contributing to defense cooperation of the two countries.  

Reporter: Thank you very much, Mr. Deputy Defense Minister!

Translated by Tran Hoai