The People’s Army Newspaper would like to present an interview with Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien, Chief of the Vietnam Border Guard, on cooperation efficiency in border areas of the two countries over the past time and the upcoming exchange this year.

Reporter: Could you please elaborate on the contribution of the exchange to building a borderline of peace, friendship and cooperation for mutual development?

Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien: The Vietnam-China land borderline can be called a borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation and development. Cooperation and exchange activities held by the two border forces play a specially-important role in cooperation in the border areas of the two countries, serving as a highlight in the Vietnam-China bilateral defense relations.

In March 2014, the first edition of the Vietnam-China Border Defense Friendship Exchange was held, opening up a new favorable chapter in border cooperation for the two sides. Since then, the exchange has received special attention from the two Parties, States, and militaries and has been successfully held four times. We are now preparing for the fifth.

The openness of military leaders in the last four exchanges has sent a positive message to the people of both countries: The two militaries are determined to cooperate on the basis of solidarity and friendship. The exchange is one of the measures to consolidate trust, strengthen friendship and boost cooperation for mutual benefits, contributing to substantially developing the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic partnership and providing favorable conditions for cooperation in socio-economic development.

Vietnamese and Chinese doctors providing free health check-ups for people in Phuc Hoa district, Cao Bang province

Reporter: What have people in border areas of the two countries benefited from the implementation of the initiatives proposed at the four previous editions of the exchange?

Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien: The Vietnam-China Border Defense Friendship Exchange is a politically-significant and breakthrough event in Vietnam-China bilateral defense relations. The scale of the exchange has been expanded gradually one edition after another, seeing the attendance of high-ranking leaders of the central military commissions and defense ministries of the two sides. The event has also been warmly welcomed by border protection forces and people along the shared borderline.

The exchange has helped develop and better cooperation mechanisms between the two border protection forces. New models have been implemented under the agreement of both sides. The two border protection forces have cooperated well in managing and protecting border areas via joint patrols, exercises, management of entry and exit, prevention of illegal border-crossing and effective fight against crimes, etc.

People in border villages and communes of Vietnam and China have also boosted twinning activities, sport and art exchanges, mutual support for developing economy, trading of goods, etc. Those activities have had great effects on promoting peace, stability and development in border areas of the two countries.

The Vietnam Border Guard Command has directed its force in seven provinces in the North sharing the border with Yunnan province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China to cooperate with the Chinese border protection force in implementing various friendship cooperation models such as “Construction of a model borderline,” “Joint patrol of solidarity,” “Vietnam-China friendship trees,” cross-border disaster relief exercises, etc.

Reporter: Could you please tell us more about the major contents of the fifth exchange and the preparation of the border force and Cao Bang province for this event?

Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien: The fifth Vietnam-China Border Defense Friendship Exchange will be held from November 19 - 21 in Cao Bang province of Vietnam and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, featuring new and exciting contents, such as a border marker saluting ceremony, a joint on-river patrol, the inauguration of the Friendship Cultural Center in Ta Lung, a ceremony to mark the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the friendship relations between Phuc Hoa district of Cao Bang province (Vietnam) and Longzhou county of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (China), a disaster and epidemic consequence relief exercise, a ceremony to review five years of implementing the border exchange, friendship talks, art exchanges, etc.

As a result of the active cooperation between units of China and Cao Bang province, so far we have been well-prepared, showing a high sense of responsibility of armed forces, local authorities and people of the two countries in organizing the event.

Reporter: The Vietnam-China Border Defense Friendship Exchange is an annual event while cooperation along the borderline is conducted on the monthly, weekly and even daily basis. What do you think should be done to make the exchange not only the activity of the two border protection forces, but also of the two peoples?

Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien: The two sides should continue exchanging information to renew contents and forms as well as methods of organizing exchanges at different levels, close to reality and with increasingly substantial effects. Especially, people in border areas should be encouraged to get engaged in the event and clearly understand the benefits the exchange and other cooperation activities in border areas bring about.

Besides, via exchange activities, the two border protection forces and authorities should boost dissemination to improve people’s awareness of law abidance, protection of the borderline and border markers, and strengthen trust and comprehensive cooperation. In so doing, solidarity, friendship, and sincere efforts will be promoted, helping build the Vietnam-China borderline of peace, friendship, and cooperation for sustainable development.

Reported by Vu Hung - Van Duyen

Translated by Huu Duong