Beyond the ocean

This is the first time the Vietnamese and Myanmar naval forces have participated in a joint exercise in Andaman Sea. The event also marked the second participation of the Vietnamese naval ships in the Indian Ocean. This also confirmed the Vietnam People's Navy's strengths and hopes to strengthen cooperation with naval forces of other countries and contributed to ensuring maritime security and safety, peace, and stability in the region and the world.

After the command to commence the exercise was given through the communication channel from Myanmar's patrol vessel 566 on April 6, Frigate 012 - Ly Thai To began to maneuver in formation to practice marine flag signaling and saluting other ships. Thanks to favorable weather conditions, the exercise ended successfully, meeting all the requirements with complete safety, thereby promoting experience-sharing and training cooperation between the two navies.

The Vietnamese delegation on board Frigate 012 - Ly Thai To received warm reception by the host when they arrived at their prescribed positions in Myanmar on April 2.

Major Do Hai Long (L) presents gift to Major General Thaung Htike Shwe Commander of Myeik Coastal Military Region.

Major Do Hai Long, captain of Frigate 012 - Ly Thai To, expressed his honor and pride to be the first captain of the Vietnam's People Navy to command a VPN’s ship to visit Myanmar. "The exchange activities have contributed to consolidating the solidarity and cooperation between the two militaries in general and the two navies in particular," he stressed.

Frigate 012 - Ly Thai To's visit to Myanmar took place after the two previous visits of Myanmar naval vessels to Ho Chi Minh City (1997) and Da Nang (2012). Both sides wished that such visits would be held more frequently in the coming time.

At the reception for the Vietnamese mission, Major General Thaung Htike Shwe, Commander of Myeik Coastal Military Region, affirmed that Myanmar's Military has always attached much importance to promoting defense cooperation with Vietnam. "We respect the country and people of Vietnam during their resistance wars for national salvation in the past and during the cause of building and developing the country in the current context," he said.

Pillar in Vietnam-Myanmar relations

The visit to Myanmar of the Vietnamese warship was a vivid evidence that the cooperation between the two militaries has been broadened and developed positively and effectively, becoming a pillar in Vietnam-Myanmar relations. The highlight of the economic and defense cooperation between the two countries was Telecom International Myanmar (Mytel), a joint venture between Vietnam’s Military Industry-Telecoms Group (Viettel) and its Myanmar partner. Mytel is now the second largest mobile service provider in Myanmar, with nearly 6 million subscribers. The company is expected to climb to the top position in the coming time.

General Min Aung Hlaing had chosen Vietnam as the first country to visit after taking office in 2011. The visit had shown Myanmar's respect for its defense cooperation with Vietnam. After being extended for another term, he again visited Vietnam in 2017. Meanwhile, General Ngo Xuan Lich, Vietnam's Minister of National Defense, also visited Myanmar in October, 2017.

As scheduled in July, 2019, Vietnamese Economic-Defense Fair will be held for the first time in Yangon, marking a new development in defense cooperation, especially in defense industry, between the two countries.

Vietnamese pagoda in “The Land of Pagodas”

The cooperative relationship of the two countries has been built on the foundation of the diplomatic relations established by President Ho Chi Minh and General Aung San. One of the proofs for Vietnam-Myanmar friendship is an exhibition space of the image of Vietnam, its land and people at the National Museum Yangon.

In addition, there also exists a Vietnamese pagoda in Myanmar. According to monk Thien Ngoc, the abbot of the pagoda, it will become a spiritual address for Buddhist followers and the Vietnamese residents in Myanmar to gather, and preserve national cultural heritage.

The four-day visit to Myanmar of Frigate 012 - Ly Thai To and the Vietnamese delegation has consolidated the special friendship and promoted the cooperation between the two countries, thus contributing to strengthening mutual understanding and trust between the two militaries in general and two navies in particular.

Translated by Lam Anh