At the talks, the guest highlighted outstanding outcomes of the bilateral ties in 2016, particularly the mutual visits of senior leaders of the two Parties, States and ministries of national defense, saying that the two countries' relationship has been increasingly strengthened and actively developed for the sake of the two peoples.

Defense Minister, General Ngo Xuan Lich (L) meeting with Chinese Defense Minister, Senior Lieutenant General Chang Wanquan

Regarding the bilateral defense ties, General Lich said since his visit to China in August 2016, agencies and units of the two armies have actively implemented the agreements reached by the two ministers. Their collaboration has contributed to a stable, healthy and sustainable development of the two countries’ relations, he added.

The Vietnamese defense minister also thanked his Chinese counterpart for his sound leadership over Chinese defense agencies and military units in implementing the joint vision statement on defense cooperation until 2025 between the two defense ministries, signed by the two ministers in the witness of Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Chinese Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. He evaluated the document as an active progress in the bilateral defense ties, contributing to reinforcing and promoting the friendship, cooperation and mutual development between the two countries as well as defeating plots or information distortions that aim to drive a wedge into bilateral ties.

Both sides fully implemented cooperation activities set for 2016 such as the sixth defense strategy dialogue; the navies’ 21st joint patrol in the Tonkin Gulf; and young officers’ exchanges; and the signed agreement between the Vietnamese Institute of Defense Strategy and the Chinese Military Science Academy on collecting keepsakes relating to the solidarity and friendship between the two armies of Vietnam and China as well as Mao Zedong's and Ho Chi Minh's thoughts during the resistance wars against American and French invaders, he repeated.

 The talk between the two defense ministers

Minister Lich went on to say that 2017 is an important year for both Vietnam and China with the ongoing official visit to China by General Secretary Trong and a scheduled visit to Vietnam by Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping on the occasion of the APEC Summit 2017. 

Those visits hold much political importance as they will provide a new momentum for bilateral connections, including defense ties, he said, adding that a visit to Vietnam by leaders of China’s Central Military Commission and Defense Ministry will be the manifestation and also a solid foundation for the countries’ defense relations to develop effectively and practically.

The Vietnamese defense minister hoped that the two sides would boost delegation exchange at all levels and hold talks at high-ranking levels. He also officially invited Defense Minister, Senior Lieutenant General Chang Wanquan and other Chinese senior officers to visit Vietnam in 2017.

For his part, Senior Lieutenant General Chang described the two nations’ friendship, nurtured by late Presidents Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh, as a precious common asset. He believed that the ongoing official visit by Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong would contribute to the two countries' cooperation and friendship. He asked both sides to comply with the Vietnamese and Chinese senior leaders’ common perceptions as reflected in the joint vision statement on defense cooperation until 2025, thus bringing bilateral relations to a new height.

The same day, General Lich, who is also Deputy Secretary of Vietnam’s Central Military Commission, had a meeting with Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Fan Changlong.

They discussed cooperation measures to build the two armies with political firmness, which deserve to be the loyal and trustworthy forces of their respective Parties, peoples and nations.

Echoing Lich’s viewpoint, Fan said the two countries and armies have made strides in their relations, adding that the mutual visits by Trong and Xi this year are major landmarks that will lift bilateral ties to the next level.

* Later on the day, Chinese Defense Minister, Senior Lieutenant General Chang Wanquan hosted a banquet to greet Vietnamese Defense Minister, General Ngo Xuan Lich and the Vietnamese defense delegation.

Translated by Trung Thanh and VNA