Gen. Phan Van Giang at the ASEAN - U.S. defense ministers’ informal meeting

At the ASEAN - U.S. defense ministers’ informal meeting, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stressed that since 2010, all U.S. defense secretaries have attended ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+). This demonstrates the importance that the country attaches to such an important cooperation mechanism in the regional security architecture.

The U.S. defense leader hoped that the U.S. - ASEAN defense cooperation would be strengthened in an effective and practical manner for peace and security in the region via joint exercises or the U.S. - ASEAN Emerging Defense Leaders Program.

Emphasizing that maritime security plays a leading role in regional security, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin laid stress on the importance of ensuring free and open maritime routes according to international law.

Delegates to the ASEAN - U.S. defense ministers’ informal meeting

At the meeting, defense ministers of ASEAN countries agreed that the region is facing a number of both traditional and non-traditional security challenges. Thus, with its central role, ASEAN is willing to cooperate with the U.S. and other partners to handle them.

In his speech, Gen. Giang highly praised the U.S. commitments to supporting ASEAN’s central role and boosting comprehensive partnership with the region, particularly in economy, trade, investment, and science-technology.

The Vietnamese defense chief agreed with other ASEAN defense ministers on challenges facing the grouping that require the cooperation and efforts of all countries.

Noting that ensuring an environment of peace and stability in the region, including the East Sea (South China Sea), is always the concern and common interest of the countries, Gen. Giang confirmed that Vietnam will continue to actively participate in cooperation activities between the U.S. and ASEAN states, especially in the framework of ADMM+.

At the hybrid ASEAN - Japan defense ministers’ informal meeting, defense leaders highlighted the timely organization of the meeting to help realize the desire of the two sides in reinforcing their defense cooperation in accordance with the comprehensive strategic partnership that was established in September this year.

The ASEAN - Japan defense ministers’ informal meeting is held both virtually and in-person.

Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara affirmed Japan’s support for ASEAN’s centrality and underlined that security and safety in the East China Sea and the East Sea play a particularly important role in regional peace and stability. He expressed his hope to upgrade the defense ties between Japan and ASEAN to a new height in such fields as maritime security, making of cyberspace regulations, and capacity enhancement programs.

Addressing the meeting, the Vietnamese defense minister hoped that the Japanese Ministry of Defense will consider sharing experience and supporting capacity enhancement for ASEAN members in the cooperation areas that Japan has strengths and ASEAN needs such as training, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, information technology, equipment and technology transfer, cyber security, and maritime security.

He informed that over the past time, as co-chairs of the ADMM+’s Experts’ Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, Vietnam and Japan have worked together to fully carry out the group’s activities. The two sides successfully co-chaired the competency evaluation program for prospective U.N. peacekeepers (CEPPP) in Hanoi last September.

Gen. Giang expressed his belief that the relations between ASEAN and Japan will further develop for the benefits of each side and make active contribution to peace, stability, and development in the region and the world.

Reported by Thu Trang from Jakarta, Indonesia

Translated by Mai Huong