Thursday, September 24, 2020, 06:38 (GMT+7)

Friday, August 28, 2020, 15:16 (GMT+7)
Vietnam Coast Guard strengthens foreign relations and international cooperation

Deeply grasping the views on foreign policies of the Party and State, over the past years, the Vietnam Coast Guard has strengthened foreign affairs and international cooperation, creating favorable environments and conditions for well performing its assigned functions and tasks, contributing to maintaining a peaceful and stable environment for building and defending the Fatherland from afar.

Facing the high requirements of the task of managing and maintaining security, order and safety and ensuring the observance of law on the territorial waters and continental shelf of the country, for the past years, the Vietnam Coast Guard has attached importance to strengthening leadership and direction over foreign affairs and international cooperation, identifying this as an important and regular political task. On the basis of the Party's lines, the laws of the State, the direction of the Central Military Commission on foreign affairs and international cooperation, especially the Resolution of the 12th Congress of the Party, Resolution No. 806-NQ/QUTW, dated December 31, 2013 of the Central Military Commission on “Defence international integration and diplomacy  until 2020 and beyond”, the High Command of Coast Guard has issued many appropriate resolutions, directives, plans and action programs on foreign activities and international cooperation; directed its agencies and units to build and implement this work according to echelon, with practicality and efficiency.

Vietnam's Party Chief Nguyen Phu Trong and Japan's Prime Minister Abe Shinzo witness the signing of cooperation between the Coast Guards of the two countries

Together with good performance of its advisory function to the Party, the State, the Central Military Commission on foreign affairs and international cooperation in assigned fields, the High Command of the Coast Guard has maintained and promoted friendly relations bilaterally and multilaterally  with maritime law enforcement forces of world and regional countries, especially neighboring ones. At the same time, it has effectively implemented the signed and agreed cooperation contents with the China Coast Guard, such as: exchanging and sharing information on situation at sea; organizing the meeting of the Fisheries Monitoring Agency; joint fishery inspection at the Gulf of Tonkin, and conducting joint patrol. Facing the complicated developments on the East Sea, the Party Committee and Command of the Coast Guard have focused on leading and directing the close coordination between field activities with diplomacy and bilateral cooperation; proactively proposed meetings, exchanged letters between the two sides to express our views, stances, and wishes to strengthen friendly relations, cooperation on the basis of international law, respecting sovereignty and interests of each party, contributing to maintaining a peaceful and stable environment at sea.

The High Command of Vietnam Coast Guard has advised the Central Military Commission, the Minister of National Defence to propose to the Government the signing of the  Letter of Intent on the conclusion of negotiation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Vietnam and the Government of Malaysia on cooperation in law enforcement at sea and search and rescue; coordinated with the authorities to complete the Memorandum of Understanding with the Malaysian Maritime Law Enforcement Agency; promoted steps to sign the Memoranda of Understanding with the Indonesian Coast Guard, and the Philippine Coast Guard, etc. At the same time, it has organized many activities with the functional forces of the United States and Japan to implement cooperation projects on equipment transfer and professional training.

In multilateral activities, the Vietnam Coast Guard has actively and responsibly participated in the activities of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against ships in Asia (ReCAAP); in the multilateral forums, focusing on mechanisms, such as: Coast Guard Global Summit, the Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting,  Maritime Law Enforcement Dialogue, The Gulf of Thailand Initiative,... and contributed many important initiatives on cooperation and law enforcement at sea. In addition, it has well conducted the reception of exchanges and visits of delegations and ships of the Coast Guards of some countries, ensuring absolute safety and in accordance with principles and regulations on foreign affairs, thereby, strengthening the relationship of coordination and cooperation in law enforcement at sea; taking advantage of other countries' support for Vietnam's legitimate interests on the country’s waters and continental shelf; affirming the position and prestige of the Vietnam Coast Guard in the region and in the world.

In the coming time, the situation in the East Sea will continue to witness complicated and unpredictable developments; traditional and non-traditional security threats, especially infringement of sovereignty, sovereign rights, jurisdiction, national interests at sea, transnational crime, drugs, smuggling, commercial fraud, violation of law on maritime security, order and safety are on the rise. The task of protecting sovereignty, sovereign right, jurisdiction and national interests; the fight against all kinds of crimes and law violations at sea will be very challenging. In order to fulfill the assigned tasks well, the Coast Guard should deploy comprehensively all aspects of the work; in particular, promoting foreign affairs and international cooperation in order to make this important work increasingly regular, formal, practical and effective.

The third billateral conference between Vietnam Coast Guard and its Indian counterpart

To realize that goal, the Coast Guard continues to thoroughly grasp the instructions and resolutions of the Party, State, and Central Military Commission on foreign affairs and international cooperation; the focus is on Resolution No. 22-NQ/TW, dated 10/4/2013 of the Politburo (11th tenure) on "International integration"; Decree No. 22/2016/ND-CP, dated December 31, 2016 of the Government on "Defence diplomacy"; Resolution No. 806-NQ/QUTW of the Central Military Commission on "Defence international integration and  diplomacy to 2020 and beyond", etc. On that basis, strengthen the leadership and direction of the executive committees and commanders at all levels for foreign affairs and international cooperation; regularly study, grasp the situation, accurately forecast problems and situations that may occur at sea to advise and propose to the Party, the State, and the Central Military Commission on the policy and measures for settlement on field incidents and diplomatic activities to resolve disputes, contradictions and differences on the basis of international law, maintaining a peaceful, stable and cooperative environment for national development. At the same time, strengthen innovation and diversify external contents, forms and methods; expand the scope and upgrade the level of foreign relations both at the headquarters and at the Coast Guard units with the marine law enforcement forces of foreign counterparts. In the short run, creatively, flexibly and effectively implement the activities in the international cooperation program for 2020, which have been approved by the Central Military Commission. During the course of implementation, it is necessary to be consistent with the foreign policy of “independence, autonomy, peace, cooperation and development”, and the strategy of “cooperation and struggle”, strictly abide by the foreign regulations, international cooperation; consider the firm protection of independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and interests of the nation as the ultimate goal. At the same time, comply with international laws; respect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign countries on the basis of international law, especially 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Moreover, it is necessary to strengthen external activities, bilateral and multilateral international cooperation programs in an essential, in-depth and effective manner. The Party Committee and the High Command of the Coast Guard should continue to research and develop strategies, programs and plans for foreign affairs and international cooperation suitable to the characteristics of the situation and actual conditions; have a comprehensive and flexible implementation roadmap in bilateral and multilateral cooperation. In particular, focus on promoting bilateral foreign activities, speeding up the exchange and signing of cooperation documents and agreements with the Coast Guards of country with neighboring waters, such as signing the Memoranda of Understanding on cooperation with the Indonesian Coast Guard, and Malaysian Maritime Law Enforcement Agency; study the suitable cooperation model with  Thai Maritime Coordination Center; strengthen hotlines with the Philippine Coast Guard, the National Committee for Maritime Security of Cambodia; hold bilateral conferences with the Coast Guards of China, Japan, South Korea, India, etc. Actively participate in activities within the ReCAAP framework, as well as other multilateral forums. Send staff to attend training courses and working experience exchanges in foreign countries; continue to receive the transfer of equipment, ships, logistic and technical facilities of foreign counterparts in the next phases and manage and use effectively, contributing to enhancing the capacity of the Vietnam Coast Guard.

Promote education for cadres and soldiers to make them aware, firmly grasp the foreign policy of the Party and State, hence nurturing their firm political steadfastness in their task performance. Foreign affairs and international cooperation of the Coast Guard are important tasks, directly relating to the protection of sovereignty and security of the sea, islands, continental shelf and the image and position of the country on the international arena. Therefore, the Coast Guard needs to increase education and raise awareness for its cadres and soldiers on the Party's foreign policy, lines and views. Vietnam is determined to be a friend, a reliable partner and a responsible member of the international community; proactively integrate, expand and strengthen foreign relations and international cooperation under the motto of “active, proactive, steady, flexible, effective” on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. At the same time, thoroughly conduct briefing to make its troops grasp the basic contents of the Party's directives and resolutions, relevant legal documents, and the agreements and treaties which Vietnam has signed and acceded; the conspiracies, and disruptive acts of the hostile forces, etc., thereby, creating unity in awareness, action, determination to well perform the tasks of foreign affairs and international cooperation. Regularly pay attention to training, fostering and enhancing capacity for its staff of external affairs to make sure that they are highly qualified, proficient in foreign languages, able to grasp, analyse and anticipate the situation at sea to give sound and timely advice.

Thoroughly implementing the above contents will essentially improve the effectiveness of external affairs and international cooperation of the Vietnam Coast Guard, strengthen the mutual understanding and the friendship relations, the trust and support of the world and regional marine law enforcement agencies to contribute to maintaining and safeguarding the peaceful and stable environment on the country’s seas, islands and continental shelf.

Lieutenant General NGUYEN VAN SON, PhD.

Commander of the Vietnam Coast Guard

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Promoting the role of the Military in protecting the Party, State, people and socialist regime
For the past nearly 75 years of establishment, combat and growth, under the leadership, education and training of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, the VPA has become increasingly strong; achieved various feats of arms and outstanding achievements, making significant contribution to glorious victories of the whole nation in the cause of national liberation, construction and defense.