Deputy Minister of Defence Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien was joined by New Zealand's Secretary of Defense Andrew Bridgman as the pair chaired the third Vietnam-New Zealand defence policy dialogue via an online platform, with numerous ambassadors and defence personnel from each side in attendance.
|Deputy Minister of Defence Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien (Photo: VNA)|
This comes after Deputy Minister Chien held a courtesy meeting with New Zealand’s Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Matthews,.
During the course of the dialogue, both sides expressed their joy at witnessing the two countries celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties whilst also upgrading relations to a strategic partnership this year. Indeed, these can be considered as favourable conditions for both sides to further promote defence co-operation relations, dialogues, consultations, delegation exchanges, training, intelligence activities, UN peacekeeping operations, maritime security, and novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention and control measures. They therefore assessed that defence co-operation still has plenty of potential and favourable conditions for stronger development, especially with both sides becoming strategic partners.
The two defence officials used the occasion to agree that next year will see the two sides organise annual meetings at defence ministerial level to mark occasions such as official visits, or alternatively on the sidelines of multilateral events, as well as establishing a national consultation mechanism between defence officials and scholars.
They also consented to devise a co-operation strategy for the next three years in order to increase defense co-operation and bring it to a new level that is on a par with the strategic partnership that currently exists.
With regard to multilateral co-operation, Deputy Minister Chien discussed the results of multilateral defence activities chaired by the country in its role as Chairman of ASEAN and non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council with various leaders of the New Zealand Ministry of Defence. In addition, the Deputy Minister also affirmed the nation’s efforts to maintain and promote co-operation within the framework of ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) / ADMM+, for the common interests of ASEAN and its partner countries.
In response, New Zealand’s Secretary of Defence Bridgman underlined New Zealand's support for ASEAN's central role and expressed his appreciation of Vietnamese initiatives and contributions to the region in recent years.
With regard to the global and regional situation of shared concern, the two defence leaders agreed on common perceptions through following the principle of respecting international law, settling disputes through peaceful means, not using or threatening to use force. The two sides also believe that co-operation is the only way for the world to unite and join hands to overcome and eventually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the occasion, on behalf of the Vietnam Defence Ministry, Deputy Minister Chien thanked New Zealand’s army for their timely help regarding the damage and losses suffered by the nation during recent storms and floods. He also expressed his appreciation for the New Zealand Government's US$117,000 emergency aid sent to help the nation deal with the consequences of natural disasters.