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With latest exchanges, two sides look for ways to strengthen regional peace
The Chinese and Vietnamese militaries will enhance exchanges and cooperation in various fields and jointly safeguard peace and security in the border area, senior officials said on Monday.
General Wei Fenghe, State councilor and minister of national defense, met with his Vietnamese counterpart, General Ngo Xuan Lich, on Monday in Longzhou county in southern China"s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region for the fifth China-Vietnam high-level border exchanges between the two militaries. The meeting runs until Wednesday.
During their meeting on Monday afternoon, Wei said the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic partnership has maintained steady and positive growth thanks to the leadership of President Xi Jinping and Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the strategic partnership. The two militaries have held high-level border exchanges for five consecutive years.
The Chinese side is willing to work with Vietnam to inherit and carry forward the traditional friendship with Vietnam, strengthen unity and jointly tackle challenges, Wei said. This includes enhancing cooperation across various fields, as well as coordination on regional and international issues.
Wei said both sides should uphold the important consensus reached by the national leaders, deepen border-related cooperation and exchanges, improve joint border management mechanisms, strengthen dialogues between agencies on border matters and safeguard peace and prosperity in the border area.
Lich said the Vietnamese side highly values the traditional friendship between the two nations and militaries, and is willing to work with China to fulfill the consensus reached by national leaders, further enhancing mutual political trust.
The Vietnamese military will expand practical cooperation and friendly exchanges with its Chinese counterpart, and inject new vigor into developing bilateral ties, Lich said. It will also jointly safeguard regional peace and security with China, and contribute to the sustainable development of both nations.
On Monday, delegations from both sides observed a joint border patrol exercise on the Chinese side of the border. They also visited a Chinese border regiment, a middle-school and the Ho Chi Minh heritage site and museum in Longzhou. On Tuesday, both delegations will travel to Cao Bang on the Vietnamese side of the border for more joint exercise demonstrations and exchanges.
Pan Jin"e, a Vietnamese studies researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said military-to-military relations is one of the key pillars of China-Vietnamese bilateral ties.
"Both sides have had a lot of practical cooperation in border areas in recent years, including minesweeping, counterterrorism and cracking down on drug trafficking," she said. In late October, the border region in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region officially became mine-free, she said.
"These efforts will improve regional security, as well as interconnectivity and people-to-people relations in border areas," she said. "It is in the interests of both countries to cooperate in border security."