Sunday, November 27, 2022, 02:42 (GMT+7)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 14:16 (GMT+7)
Vietnam Coast Guard enhances collaboration on tasks

Vietnam Coast Guard (hereafter the VCG) is the State’s force responsible for the maintenance of security and order and the observance of law in the sea; therefore, its task is highly specific and relevant to various sectors and areas. Enhancement of this force’s collaboration with other relevant forces on tasks is a matter of importance and urgency.

Perceiving the importance of collaboration to the successful implementation of the assigned tasks, over the past years, the VCG’s High Command has proactively studied and counselled the Government and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to promulgate decrees, decisions and circulars, while directly developing and signing statutes, plans and guiding documents on collaboration between the VCG and other relevant forces, such as the Government’s Decree 66/2010/NĐ-CP, the Prime Minister’s Decision 133/2002/QĐ-TTg, joint circulars between the MoD and other ministries: Transport; Agriculture and Rural Development; Finance, etc., and regulations on collaboration between the VCG and relevant parties. Those documents serve as an important legal framework for the VCG to collaborate with other forces and improve the efficiency of its marine law enforcement.

Grounded in the statutes and regulations, the VCG has employed diverse forms and methods to collaborate with other forces and coastal localities, such as collection and exchange of information, patrol and control to protect sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction, settlement of violations of Vietnamese waters, search and rescue, etc. Since 2011, it has cooperated with forces and localities in exchanging nearly 27,000 pieces of information related to its function and task; in propagating and fighting to expel tens of thousands of foreign ships violating Vietnam’s waters; in propagating, disseminating and educating law to hundreds of thousands of people; in arresting and handling nearly 3,000 violators from over 2,000 ships. Moreover, the VCG has promoted international integration and established bilateral and multilateral relationships with law enforcement organizations and forces regionally and globally. As a result, the synergy of forces, sectors and localities, especially the marine law enforcement forces, has been brought into play, while resources and experience of law enforcement forces of other countries in the region and the world have been regularly exploited, thereby contributing to consolidating the national defence posture and security posture in the sea, safeguarding national sovereignty, sovereign rights, jurisdiction and interests, maintaining peace, stability, friendship and cooperation for the sake of national development.

However, collaboration between the VCG and other forces still exposes weaknesses, sometimes ineffective, and basically covers only information and experience exchange and evaluation and anticipation of the situation. Coordination in the implementation of the task in the sea, particularly the settlement of the situations, is still limited. Besides, a number of legal documents prescribing function and task of the marine law enforcement forces have overlapping points, causing difficulties in collaboration. Meanwhile, the situation in the East Sea continues to witness new complex, unpredictable developments. In addition to dispute over territorial sovereignty, violation of law in the sea is on the rise. The tasks of protecting national sovereignty, sovereign right, jurisdiction and interests and preventing and fighting against crimes and violations of law in the sea are very challenging. To successfully fulfil the assigned tasks, the VCG should synchronously adopt measures to improve the effectiveness of collaboration with other forces as follows.

First, strengthening leadership and direction of all-level party committees and commanders over the work of collaboration. Offices and units should continue to thoroughly grasp the Government’s decrees, the MoD’s circulars and statutes on collaboration between the VCG and other forces on tasks, particularly the Government’s Decree 66/2010/NĐ-CP on “Regulations for coordinating state management of the VCG’s operations and collaboration between forces in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s waters and continental shelf”, the Prime Minister’s Decision 133/2002/QĐ-TTg on “regulations for collaboration between the Police, Border Guard, Coast Guard and Customs on preventing and combating drug-related crime in border areas, border gates and sea”. It is necessary to carry out the work of propagation and education to make cadres and troops grasp function and task of the VCG and relevant forces, thoroughly understand the importance and necessity of collaboration with other forces on tasks as well as content and forms of collaboration with each force, thereby bringing about motive and raising a sense of responsibility for collaboration with forces, promoting the synergy in the implementation of tasks. Basing on the statutes on collaboration signed by the VCG’s High Command and other forces, party committees and commanders of offices and units should include those in resolutions and plans in accordance with their task and particularities of the sea under their control.

The conference to review the work of collaboration between the VCG and the Vietnam Border Guard (photo:

Second, continuing to complete the system of legal documents on collaboration. Over the past years, with the regard from the Government, MoD, and other ministries and sectors as well as the effort of the VCG’s High Command, the system of legal documents on collaboration between the VCG and other forces has been drawn up rather synchronously, which has provided important legal basis for the VCG and forces to work with one another and fulfil their function and task. However, the situational developments and our country’s deepened integration into the world have brought about new issues. Regulations in force on the key role and collaboration between marine law enforcement forces are not uniform, while role and authority of many forces are statutory. Consequently, collaboration between marine law enforcement agencies has yet to meet the pre-determined goal and effectiveness. Against this backdrop, the VCG should proactively cooperate with relevant Central ministries and sectors and localities in studying, adjusting and supplementing regulations on collaboration in accordance with practice. More importantly, it is necessary to give advice to the MoD and recommendations to the Government on promulgation of normative legal documents on the work of collaboration, with a focus on making collaboration a chapter of the draft Law on the VCG which stipulates mechanism and responsibility of ministries, sectors and local authorities for collaboration to submit to the National Assembly for approval, ensuring that the VCG will play the role as the main force in state management of security and order and law enforcement in Vietnam’s waters and continental shelf.

Third, actively renovating content and form of collaboration with forces. The complexities of security situation and law observance as well as weaknesses in collaboration with other forces require the VCG to renew content, form and method for collaboration with other forces to improve the effectiveness of implementing its tasks. In this regard, the VCG should proactively renovate collaboration with other forces comprehensively and bolster support for one another. Due attention should be paid to exchanging information, holding joint patrol and control, search and rescue operations, fighting against violations, dealing with incidents, sharing experience in propagating, disseminating and educating law to fishermen and improving professional knowledge. To achieve the consensus in collaboration and coordination, the VCG should proactively broaden its relationships, supplement new forms and measures for collaboration, such as exchange, twinning, joint training and rescue exercise, settlement of complex situations in the sea, establishment of hot line, and maintenance of the order of meeting and situation briefing. It should be noted that the VCG’s High Command has directed offices and units to continue cooperating with localities in more effectively implementing the model “Coast Guards support fishermen’s operations”, thereby forging a close bond between the Coast Guard and the people, building strong, extensive national defence posture and security posture in the sea as the basis for the VCG and other forces to work with one another, meeting the mission requirements.

Fourth, boosting international cooperation in the implementation of task. Promoting the recorded results and grasping the Party’s diplomatic line, the VCG should continue to encourage cooperation with marine law enforcement organizations and forces of the countries in the region and the world. Due regard should be paid to performing the role as an active member of regional and global organizations which the VCG takes part in; to boosting relationships and cooperation with the marine law enforcement forces of regional countries and Vietnam’s traditional partners, such as China and Japan. Moreover, it is important to continue maintaining the operation of The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre; exchanging information about maritime security, piracy, armed robbery, search and rescue with the law enforcement forces of other states; taking part in joint patrol with the law enforcement forces of the countries bordering Vietnam’s waters. At the same time, it is vital to increase exchange and experience sharing in training and cultivating the VCG’s staff, particularly crew members. Implementing the above-mentioned measures will contribute to strengthening relationships with other countries, enhancing the VCG’s capability to implement the tasks, creating stable, peaceful environment in the sea, safeguarding national sovereignty, security and safety in the country’s seas, islands, and continental shelf.

Maj. Gen. Nguyen Van Son, PhD, Deputy Commander of the VCG

Your Comment (0)