Vietnam, US talk defence and security cooperation    
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Vietnam, US talk defence and security cooperation The seminar on Vietnam-US relations and defence and security cooperation held at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC.
Apr 05 2019

Vietnamese and US diplomats and scholars have discussed a broad range of cooperation fields, including defence and security at a recent seminar held at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC.

At the seminar, delegates analyzed Vietnam’s position in US foreign policy and the world. Amy Searight, Director of CSIS’s Southeast Asian Program, said Vietnam and the US have mutual interests and shared views on rule-based order, especially concerning regional maritime issues. Both countries have implemented measures for more effective cooperation.

US Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver hailed the growing defence relations between the two nations over the last two years as seen through many milestones, including the visit to Vietnam by USS Carl Vinson in March 2018 – the first trip to the country by a US aircraft carrier since 1975.

Washington hopes both sides can reach a consensus on another trip to Vietnam by a US aircraft carrier this year, he added.

Schriver also touched upon many other fields of bilateral cooperation, including dioxin detoxification at Bien Hoa airport in southern Vietnam towards deepening defence ties.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc highlighted cooperation in defence and security as one of the primary targets in comprehensive partnership between the two nations, helping them build mutual trust.

Notably, coordination to resolve the war aftermath is one of the most effective combined efforts to put aside the past and move towards the future, he said.

Ngoc applauded the fruitful defence-security cooperation between Vietnam and the US, as demonstrated by their closer coordination with each other in multilateral and regional mechanisms, including the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, the ASEAN-US Defence Ministers’ Meeting, and the Shangri-La Dialogue.

He suggested the two sides should work hand in hand to realize defence cooperation fields under the 2011 memorandum of understanding, the 2015 joint vision statement on defence relations, and the plan of action for defence cooperation for 2018-2020.

Ngoc described a stable Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership as a contributory factor to the maintenance of regional peace, stability, security and cooperation. 

With goodwill and trust building efforts, the two countries are opening up new chapters for substantive cooperation for the next 25 years, he said, noting that there are plenty of opportunities for them to foster ties in economics, defence, security, as well as regional and global issues, especially when they are making preparations for the 25th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties next year.

Former US Ambassador to Vietnam David B. Shear for his part, hailed the effective bilateral cooperation in multiple fields, including settling war consequences, searching for servicemen missing in action, remedying dioxin contamination, and supporting people with disabilities. However, there remain certain challenges and obstacles to bilateral cooperation, he added.

To Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Institute for East Sea Studies under the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, said the two nations will mark 25 years since the normalization of their relations in 2020 when Vietnam will assume the ASEAN Chair.

Vietnam is pinning high hopes on the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021, thus giving important chance to step up bilateral cooperation between the two nations, he said.