Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 11:30 (GMT+7)

Monday, January 07, 2019, 08:39 (GMT+7)
Vietnam-Cambodia defence cooperation - a remarkable achievement by the Military Region 7’s armed forces

Implementing the guidelines on defence diplomacy by the Party and the Central Military Commission (CMC), the Military Region 7’s Party Committee and Command have paid special attention to maintaining and developing defence cooperation with Cambodia, thereby contributing to cementing the solidarity and friendship for peace, stability and co-development between the two countries.

Over the past years, the Military Region 7’s Party Committee and Command have actively advised the CMC and the Ministry of National Defence (MND) on measures to perform the defence diplomacy work, thus contributing to realizing the Party’s guidelines: Vietnam is a friend, reliable partner, and responsible member of the international community. During the process of defence diplomacy and international integration in the South, the Military Region has always played a core role and been assigned to organize various diplomatic events. Accordingly, the enhanced defence cooperation with the Cambodian Royal Armed Forces (CRAF) represents a task of paramount importance to strengthening the mutual understanding and confidence as well as the sustainable, long-standing solidarity and friendly cooperation, maintaining political security and social order, facilitating socio-economic and defence-security cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia.

The signing of the MoU between the Military Region 7 Command and the Command of Royal Gendarmerie of Cambodia (photo: qdnd.vn)

To achieve a sense of consensus in performing this work, the Military Region’s Party Committee and Command have issued the resolution and plan to execute the CMC’s Resolution 806-NQ/QUTW on international integration and defence diplomacy and the Project on defence diplomacy between 2014 and 2020. At the same time, it has established the Military Region-level Steering Board on defence diplomacy and working groups on defence diplomacy in its units. Provincial-level military offices have advised local party committees and authorities on developing the Projects and Regulations on defence diplomacy as well as on combining State diplomacy with defence diplomacy, people-to-people exchange, and local authority diplomacy. Under the motto of being good neighbours, maintaining traditional friendship and comprehensive, sustainable, durable cooperation, being friends and reliable partners of each other, cooperation and twinning activities have been unceasingly developed across the Military Region (from Military Region Command to localities, divisions and schools).  Up to now, the Military Region Command has signed cooperation agreements and been twinned with 5 CRAF units while the military offices of 8 provinces and Ho Chi Minh city and the Division 5 have cooperation agreements with 17 CRAF units. Besides, 33 district-level military commands under 3 border provinces, namely Binh Phuoc, Long An, and Tay Ninh have signed cooperation agreements with 42 battalions and military sub-regions of the CRAF. Notably, 100% of border communes of Long An province have been twinned with Cambodian border localities.

The armed forces of border provinces have established bilateral cooperation with the CRAF units in many fields, such as border demarcation, delegation exchange, military and political work exchange, 3-level border defence mechanism, joint patrol, and legal propagation, dissemination, and education provided for the people. At the same time, they have maintained the order for scheduled and unscheduled meetings to exchange information to protect national borders, prevent and combat crime of all types, and maintain security and order along the borders. With faithfulness, purity and deep sentiment, the Military Region’s armed forces have assisted the CRAF units in repairing and building camps, headquarters, training grounds, and technical equipment. Moreover, the Military Region’s Party Committee and Command have directed its affiliates to organize people-to-people exchange programs and take part in building schools and hospitals, and providing free medical examination and treatment for the people from the two sides in border areas. On a yearly basis, the Military Region’s Military Medical Branch cooperates with Cho Ray, Dentistry, Eye, and Tu Du Hospitals in organizing medical delegations to provide free medical examination and treatment for Cambodian military units and people. In addition, the Military Region’s armed forces have actively participated in building rural traffic infrastructure and medical and educational establishments in an effort to improve Cambodian people’s mental and material life. The military commands of the three border provinces have proactively taken part in building clusters of residential lines and defensive zones in border areas while acting as the core in protecting national sovereignty and dealing with the issues arising from reality. Military commands of Tay Ninh, Binh Thuan, Lam Dong, Binh Phuoc, Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces have well organized Vietnamese and Cambodian young officers exchange programs. Many offices and units of the Military Region have strived to counsel and perform the work of defence diplomacy in general, the work of border defence diplomacy in particular, while cooperating with Cambodian units in tradition education via young officers exchange programs and others.

The Military Region and the Cambodian Military have actively helped each other train cadres in various forms. Since September 2015, the Military Region has held armoured training courses for 50 cadres, officers, and non-commissioned officers of the Royal Gendarmerie of Cambodia, training courses related to 7 military specialities for 200 cadets of the CRAF’s Military Region 4, and 15 professional training courses for 528 Cambodian officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers concerning different military specialities, such as infantry tactics, air defence, people’s military intelligence, and weaponry repair. Furthermore, the Military Region has assisted the RCAF in holding training courses on military history in a bid to make the people and the world more understand the struggle against hostile forces to give a rebirth to Cambodian nation and the solidarity between the Militaries of the two countries. In return, the CRAF have dispatched a number of teachers to teach the Khmer language at the Military Region’s Military School and receive Vietnamese cadets who come to study the Khmer language in Cambodia. To tap the resources of the armed forces in helping the Cambodian Military, the Military Region Command has directed Tay Nam and Dong Hai Companies to make investments in Cambodia to create financial resources and facilitate cooperation for economic-defence development. To express the gratitude to the Vietnamese Volunteer Soldiers and build up a symbol for the solidarity and friendship between the two countries in order to educate the peoples and Militaries of the two countries, especially the young, the Military Region cooperated with the CRAF’s Military Regions 2 and 4 in constructing the Traditional House of the Front 779 Command in Tbong Khmum province and the Traditional House of the Front 479. Localities in the Military Region have well carried out the work of mass mobilization in border areas, maintained the order for meetings and joint patrols. The Military Region’s K working teams have well performed the task of gathering and repatriating remains of the Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who fell in the war in Cambodia.

In addition, the Military Region has proactively cooperated with competent offices both inside and outside the Military in receiving diplomatic missions in a safe manner. It has cooperated with the Department of Foreign Relations (MND), forces and local authorities in receiving 300 Cambodian visiting delegations, thereby bringing defence cooperation between the two countries to a new height.

The results of Vietnam-Cambodia defence cooperation by the Military Region 7’s armed forces have been seen as one of the highlights of the Military by leaders of the Party and the State, providing the basis for cementing relations with our neighbours, defending national independence, sovereignty, unification, territorial integrity, and interests, and raising the status of our Military and country in the international arena. To boost our defence cooperation with Cambodian Military and people and bring it to a new height, in the coming time, the Military Region’s armed forces should focus on the following points.

First, to grasp and effectively implement the motto of being good neighbours and maintaining traditional friendship and comprehensive, sustainable, long-lasting cooperation, which is shared by the two States of Vietnam and Cambodia. It is necessary to draw lessons on the work of defence cooperation in order to make great contributions to diplomatic activities and people-to-people exchange by local party committees, authorities, sectors and organizations; to actively give advice to local party committees and authorities so as to encourage the synchronous coordination between committees, sectors, and organizations in the work of defence cooperation.

Second, grounded on the Project on military international integration until 2020, vision to 2030 by the MND, it is important to elaborate defence content and forms in a proper, focalized fashion in order to consolidate the strategic trust and general relations between the Military Region and the CRAF; to enhance cooperation in building, managing and protecting the border of peace and friendship; to expand and improve the effectiveness of mechanisms for preventing and controlling the risk of instability, thereby opportunely handling the issues arising from reality.

Third, to assist the CRAF in maintaining political stability and peaceful environment, consolidating national defence and independence, and raising the status in the international arena. Moreover, it is essential to prevent and effectively deal with all hostile plots to divide the solidarity between the two countries and take advantage of one country’s area to sabotage the other. It is necessary to continue promoting Vietnam-Cambodia young officers exchange programs and enhancing education and training cooperation; to successfully hold border defence exchange programs and search and rescue drills between Vietnam and Cambodia.

Fourth, to cooperate with Cambodian offices in accelerating the progress of land border demarcation under the leadership of the two States and Governments; in managing and protecting the border of friendship, peace and stability; in building patrol roads and border belt roads in accordance with laws and agreements on border signed by the two countries; in gathering and repatriating remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts; and in dealing with the issues on illegal border crossing by Vietnamese ethnic people and Vietnamese people living in Cambodia.

Fifth, to maintain flexible cooperation with the CRAF in the economic field; to cooperate with local authorities in developing Agriculture Project along the border; to create a favourable condition for the enterprises of the Military Region and localities to invest in Cambodia; to work with other forces to help the people along the border between the two countries with hunger alleviation and poverty reduction.

Under the leadership and direction by the CMC and MND, with the close collaboration with local party committees, authorities and sectors, the work of defence diplomacy by the Military Region 7’s armed forces will continue to contribute to maintaining political security and social order, facilitating socio-economic development, and boosting defence-security cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia.

Lt. Gen. Vo Minh Luong, Member of the Party Central Committee

Commander of the Military Region 7

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