Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s upcoming Singapore visit holds great significance; since this is an occasion for him and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong enhance relations between the two Governments and States, thereby contributing to cooperation within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ASEAN Plus.
|Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan__Photo: VNA|
So said Prof. Bilveer Singh from the Department of Political Science at the National University of Singapore in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency ahead of PM Chinh’s official visit to the city state from February 8 to 10.
He held that the way in which Vietnam and Singapore view and understand each other, and together move forward amid numerous fast-changing external challenges is highly important.
Assessing their strategic partnership, he highlighted the development of bilateral connections in economy, politics, diplomacy, culture, and defense, adding that the two countries’ relationship have established itself as a special one.
The expert described Vietnam and Singapore as pillars of ASEAN over the last 10 - 15 years, saying the development of their ties within the bloc’s is crucial.
The countries are moving in the right roadmap and should work harder to become the cohesion of ASEAN, he went on, noting that they are the most stable nations in Southeast Asia at present, so they are in advantageous positions to push the bloc forward.
Talking about defense and security cooperation, Singh said the two sides have maintained an annual defense policy dialogue, but they should further strengthen links between their naval, land, air, and civil defense forces. They also need step up officer exchanges to help boost mutual understanding and military ties.
Besides, he also suggested Vietnam and Singapore identify potential cooperation fields of which cyber security is a major area that Singapore is very strong at.
The professor expected that both will together lead ASEAN on the path to sustainable development. As long as they can promote and maintain the bloc’s unity and cooperation with major powers, it will be crucial to safeguarding security in the Indo-Pacific region or the Asia-Pacific region.- (VNA/VLLF)