Reporter: How has the PLA contributed to the COVID-19 prevention and control efforts in your country?

Senior Colonel Luo Bin: When the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly broke out, particularly on the Lunar New Year’s Eve, the PLA’s doctors and medical workers rushed to Wuhan city, Hubei province. Sixty three military hospitals with nearly 3,000 beds were mobilized for the COVID-19 fight and about 10,000 military medical personnel joined the mission.

Senior Colonel Luo Bin, Chinese Defense Attaché to Vietnam, grants an interview to the People's Army Newspaper.

A group led by Academician Chen Wei of the Military Medicine Institute of the Academy of Military Science has studied vaccines and tested on human beings since March 16. Up to now, two phases of the trial were successful and a future development looks promising.

Generally, the military medical force of the PLA has promoted their key role in the COVID-19 fight.

Reporter: What is your assessment of the collaboration between the two militaries in the COVID-19 fight?

Senior Colonel Luo Bin: The Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense presented medical supplies, including protective clothes, gloves, and medical face masks, to the Chinese Ministry of National Defense when our country was implementing pandemic prevention and control at the hardest time. After gaining positive results in the COVID-19 fight, China has actively enhanced collaboration with other countries. The Chinese Ministry of National Defense handed over medical equipment, including COVID-19 test kits and body temperature thermometers.

During the phone talks on April 29, Chinese Defense Minister Senior Lieutenant General Wei Fenghe and Defense Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich laid stress on enhancing cooperation in COVID-19 prevention and control.

The leadership of the National Defense Mobilization Department of the Central Military Commission of China sent a letter to the leadership of the Vietnam Border Guard Command. They agreed to cooperate in border management and immigration.

The medical sectors of the two sides have implemented numerous measures to exchange information such as holding teleconferences.

So far, the two militaries have promoted their significant roles in pandemic prevention and control in each country. Additionally, the two sides have closely collaborated, contributing to protecting people’s health and ensuring the stable and firm development of the two sides’ socio-economies.

Reporter: What should the two militaries do to enhance friendship and substantive cooperation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?

Senior Colonel Luo Bin: As I mentioned above, during the recent phone talks, Senior Lieutenant General Wei Fenghe and General Ngo Xuan Lich agreed to enhance collaboration in the pandemic fight, and the substantive cooperation between the two militaries as well.

The coast guard forces and navies of the two countries regularly maintained cooperation mechanisms at sea. In April and June, the two sides implemented joint fishery patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin. The two military medicine forces presented medical supplies to each other and shared experience through video conferences.

The Department of Foreign Relations of the two defense ministries are implementing relevant preparations for the sixth Vietnam-China Border Defense Friendship Exchange and other bilateral activities in 2020.

The defense ties are an important pillar of the relationship between the two Parties, States and peoples. The pandemic cannot hinder the two sides’ cooperation. We believe that the two militaries will continue implementing the joint agreements of the two countries’ leaders, and promoting solidarity and traditional friendship between Vietnam and China.

Reporter: How does your country wish to contribute to the military-defense events hosted by Vietnam during its ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2020, especially the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) which is slated to take place at the end of 2020?

Senior Colonel Luo Bin: As scheduled, Senior Lieutenant General Wei Fenghe will visit Vietnam and attend the ADMM-Plus. The Chinese side will actively support Vietnam to successfully hold security- and defense-related meetings during its ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2020 and accelerate defense relations between China and ASEAN.

In addition, we will boost cooperation with Vietnam in dealing with non-traditional security threats, including the collaboration to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that ASEAN will master directions, gather common awareness and strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and promote substantive cooperation in the field, contributing to maintaining peace, stability, and development in the region.

Reporter: Thank you so much!

Reported by Van Hieu

Translated by Trung Thanh