Addressing the 8th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) held online, Minister of National Defense Phan Van Giang said peace, cooperation and stability were key to regional security, but there were security threats that need to be dealt with sooner than later.
In particular, the East Sea, known internationally as the South China Sea, plays an important role in the global supply chain, Giang said, adding that relevant parties should cooperate with each other and carry out appropriate solutions to guarantee their legal rights.
“Vietnam believes all relevant parties need to strictly abide by the principle that conflict resolution is based on peaceful methods in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea,” Giang said, adding that an effective and practical COC for the South China Sea needs to be completed soon.
A screenshot of the 8th ADMM+ meeting held online and participated by 18 defense ministers from several countries, including Vietnam, on June 16, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Duy.
Authoritative forces at sea need to refrain from actions that escalate tension and complicate the situation, he said, adding that “fisherpeople need to be humanely treated under any circumstances at sea.”
The ADMM+ issued a joint statement of 18 defense ministers, stressing the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, prosperity, safety and freedom of movement at sea and in the air to tackle maritime security challenges and resolve regional sea issues.
The statement also acknowledged the existence of unprecedented security challenges like transnational cybersecurity issues and emergency medical issues, including natural disasters and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.