Vietnam, Singapore seek ways to foster defence ties

Defence cooperation is one of the most important pillars of relations between Singapore and Vietnam, said Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. 

Sen. Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang (L) and Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen (Source:

Sen. Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang (L) and Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen (Source:

The Singaporean minister made the statement during a reception on March 1 for Sen. Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang, Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, and Deputy Minister of National Defence.

Giang is leading a high-ranking delegation of the Vietnam People’s Army to pay an official visit to Singapore from February 28 to March 2. 

Minister Ng congratulated Vietnam on its hosting of the second DPRK-USA Summit, saying that this shows Vietnam’s role and position in the international community.

While sharing current challenges in the region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including those related to the East Sea and strategic competition among big countries, the Singaporean minister he hoped that with its role as the Chair of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam will have many initiatives to contribute to strengthening the regional security structure.

Singapore will coordinate with and support Vietnam to successfully assume the role of ASEAN chair, he said. 

For his part, Giang congratulated Singapore on successfully taking on the role of ASEAN chair in 2018. 

He emphasised that during its time as the chair of ASEAN, Singapore put forth many practical initiatives and made important contributions to promoting unity within the bloc and improving the position of ASEAN in the region and the world. 

Giang expressed his hope that Singapore will share its experience with Vietnam as it assumes the ASEAN chair role in 2020. 

In the afternoon of the same day, an official welcoming ceremony for the Vietnamese delegation was chaired by Chief of the Defence Force of Singapore Lt. Gen. Melvyn Ong.

During his talks with the Vietnamese delegation, Melvyn highlighted the fruitful friendship between the two countries, saying that the visit will contribute to further reinforcing the practical cooperation between the two armies, thus promoting bilateral relations. 

Giang affirmed that since 2013, Vietnam and Singapore have become strategic partners of each other and their defense cooperation has recorded positive development steps. 

Vietnam attaches importance to defence cooperation with Singapore, he stressed, adding that the visit aims to discuss specific measures to further bolster cooperation between the two armies in the time to come. 

The two officers agreed to enhance the exchange of delegations and visits, especially cooperation among the two countries’ forces at sea, effectively implement signed agreements, and work closely in humanitarian aid and disaster relief. 

The two sides will also maintain the mechanism of information exchange, and continue to consult with each other at multilateral forums, especially those within the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM), ADMM Plus, and the ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces framework.

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