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Developing relations with Chinese PLA top priority: Vietnamese defense minister

(Xinhua)

08:24, July 30, 2012

HANOI, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh said here Saturday that developing relations with Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is Vietnam's consistent position and top priority on defense and foreign policy.

Thanh made the statement during a meeting to honor the contribution of the Vietnamese People's Army (VPA) military officers who have been trained in China, on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese PLA.

Thanh said VPA attaches great importance to developing all- round friendly cooperative relations with Chinese PLA, adding that Vietnam will always keep in mind China's support and great assistance in its national independence and the liberation of the people.

He said peace, cooperation and development are still global and regional trend. However, the provocation of hostile forces created new complicated problems between the two parties, countries, peoples and armies. In this case, the two armies need to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to defend the revolutionary achievements of their countries.

The VPA is always willing to maintain peace and stability with fraternal Chinese army, as well as play an important role in maintaining regional and global peace and stability. The two sides will continue to improve the existing cooperation mechanisms, including setting up a hotline between the two defense ministries, Thanh said.

Jiang Zaidong, charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, said at the meeting that in the context of the world's economic downturn, China-Vietnam economic and trade cooperation witnessed positive result. Meanwhile, the friendly and cooperative relations between the two armies continue to make positive progress: the two countries have held five rounds of Vietnam-China defense consultative talks; the two navies have organized 13 joint patrols in Beibu Gulf. The steady development of military relations has made great contributions to the all-round development of bilateral ties between China and Vietnam.

More than 500 representatives from Vietnamese People's Army, Vietnamese government and the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam attended the meeting.

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