VietNamNet Bridge – Speaking with the media on the sideline of the Shangri-La Dialogue, Lieutenant-general Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Minister of Defense, said that Vietnam develops its naval forces according to a specific plan. The recent incident [in the East Sea – reporter] is not too serious so that Vietnam has to hastily strengthen the navy.
Lieutenant-general Nguyen Chi Vinh
Will Vietnam continue its oil and gas exploration in disputed areas? What will the Vietnamese army do to defend exploration activities?
I confirm that Vietnam doesn’t perform oil exploration in disputed areas, but in the waters under Vietnam’s sovereignty. For example, after the Binh Minh 02 ship incident, the ship was fixed and it has resumed its oil exploration activities.
The Vietnam navy is responsible to defend Vietnam’s sky and waters. The cases related to civil responsibility will be solved by legal agencies.
Does Vietnam plan to strengthen its naval units at the areas where incidents occurred recently?
We strengthen our navy under a specific plan. We don’t think that the recent incident is too serious that we have to strengthen our navy ahead of schedule. We are persistent and we believe that incidents can be solved by peaceful measures, in which the voice of the media and the international community is extremely important.
Do you think that members of ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting - Plus (ADMM+) [including eight ASEAN Dialogue Partners namely Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, and the United States], which don’t involve or don’t directly involve in disputes in the East Sea, can help to ease the tension and solve the East Sea conflicts?
I think that multilateral forums are very important, which show the world’s attitude to the behavior of nations.
The US Secretary of Defense R. Gates stated to strengthen the US’ presence in Asia, including sending more ships to Singapore. Does Vietnam welcome this information?
The US strengthens its presence in Asia and sends more ships to Singapore for its’ interest. Vietnam welcomes that presence if it brings about peace, stability and development for the region and the equality and mutual-respect among nations.
The Vietnamese government recently stated to open the Cam Ranh port for the international community. Does that statement mean that military ships of the US, Russia and other countries are allowed to enter the port?
We have stated to not allow any country use as their military base, or base their military in the Cam Ranh port. We will build part of the port into the base of the Vietnam navy, and part will be turned into a logistic and technical service zone for civil and military ships of all countries. This zone will open its door to ships of all countries to use repair and logistic services under international and Vietnamese laws.
Noted by Trung Phuong (from Shangri-La, Singapore)