Vietnam’s Deputy Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh and China’s defense leader affirmed that the two countries will boost their comprehensive cooperation, including the ties between their naval and border guard forces. The affirmation was made at the meeting between Senior Lieutenant Colonel Vinh and Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan in Beijing on June 6. While discussing existing issues between the two countries, the two officials agreed that the two armies should become advisors to the two Parties and State in consistently settling disputes appropriately by peaceful talks and friendly consultation in accordance to international laws, including the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC). For the sake of peace and interest of each other, the Vietnamese side suggested that the two countries proceed with the signing of an agreement to not use force or threaten to use force at sea. In addition, the two nations should expand cooperative areas, especially naval cooperation, and grasp thoroughly humane treatment of fishermen working peacefully at sea. Deputy Minister Vinh also highly values the results of the fourth Vietnam-China strategic defense dialogue in Beijing on June 5, saying that they help promote strategic trust between the two countries. At the dialogue, the two sides officially inaugurated a hotline directly connecting the two defense ministries, he said. In reply, Chang Wanquan said China China always follows the path of peaceful development and wants to continue maintaining the friendship between the two armies and settle sensitive issues appropriately. In a related development, Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh told Beijing-based Vietnam News Agency correspondents that the fourth Vietnam-China strategic defense dialogue was an important milestone as the two countries mark 10 years of signing an agreement on defense cooperation. The two sides confirmed the soundness of the agreement, which they said has helped strengthen bilateral defense cooperation between the two countries of the past years, Vinh said. He added that Vietnam and China have agreed to outline an orientation for further cooperation in the 2013-2016 period and to 2020.
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