Defense Minister Gen. Phan Van Giang affirmed Vietnam’s viewpoint of building and strengthening national defense capacity to safeguard its Fatherland, protect peace and ensure the welfare for its people, while addressing a plenary session of the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 11.
|Defense Minister Gen. Phan Van Giang addresses a plenary session of the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 11__Photo: VNA|
While peace, cooperation and development have always been the common aspiration of mankind, strategic competition, conflicts of interests, and disputes over sovereignty and territory between countries would continue to occur, he said.
Therefore, bolstering national defense capability to safeguard the nation is truly an indispensable and objective demand for each and every country, the minister continued.
Vietnam’s national defense is the whole-people defense posture. It is peaceful and self-defense in its nature; proactive, resolute and persistent in preventing and repulsing the risks of war.
Vietnam’s position is to strengthen its defense capability with its own internal forces, conditions and capabilities. Vietnam does not plan to join any military alliances, side with one country against another, or give any other countries permission to set up military bases or use its territory to carry out military activities against other countries. And Vietnam does not resort to the threat or use of force in international relations.
From Vietnam’s perspective, strengthening defense capabilities is to enhance the collective strength of the entire military forces, the people and the political system. It also encompasses bolstering the overall might derived from politics, resolve, and economic, scientific and technological prospects, rather than relying solely on improving military strength, Giang continued.
Vietnam advocates strengthening defense capabilities not merely through the purchase, production and modernization of weapons and equipment, but also through various other aspects. These include bolstering military and defense strength through a synergistic strategy, taking into account the demands and missions entailed in national construction and protection, combat capabilities, and the capacity of the armed forces.
Strengthening defense capacity, without transparency, can easily lead to suspicion and misunderstanding. Without just cause, it might also result in an arms race. Consequently, the strategic trust between countries declines, strategic competition increases, the risk of confrontation persists, traditional security becomes more complicated and the potential for war and conflict becomes unpredictable.
On the other hand, an arms race will inevitably consume national resources, which should be better spent for fostering socio-economic development, tackling non-traditional security threats to bring about happiness and prosperity to the people, the minister noted.
Vietnam is actively engaging in comprehensive and extensive international integration, and striving to reinforce strategic trust with other countries.
“It is our aspiration to expand defense cooperation, improve the capability to defend our nation, and jointly address common security challenges, on the basis of respect for each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and in line with the fundamental principles of international law,” he said.
Regarding the East Sea issue, Giang said, Vietnam resolutely and firmly adheres to the principle of settling disputes and disagreements by peaceful means, on the basis of respecting the independence, sovereignty and legitimate interests of countries.
Vietnam also advocates complying with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), commits to strictly upholding the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and looks forward to building an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) with better legal clarity.- (VNA/VLLF)