Vietnam defense minister in PH to discuss maritime security

Vietnam's defense minister Gen Phung Quang Thanh is in Manila to discuss military cooperation with defense chief Voltaire Gazmin

ALLIES: Vietnam Defense Minister Gen Phung Quang Thanh with Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. Photo from the Department of National Defense.

MANILA, Philippines — Vietnam Defense Minister Gen Phung Quang Thanh is in the Philippines to discuss with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin military cooperation against the backdrop of ongoing security issues in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). 

The Philippines and Vietnam are two of the countries that have territorial claims that overlap with China’s. 

“Both ministers would also be exchanging views on recent security issues on mutual concern particularly on the situation in the West Philippine Sea and the US’ policy of re-balancing in the Asia-Pacific,” reads a press release from the Department of National Defense (DND).

READ: PH, US begin talks on bases access

“The visit of General Thanh to the Philippines clearly reflects the commitment of both countries to enhance cooperation in jointly developing their defense capabilities and in contributing to regional peace and stability,” it adds.

Thanh is in the Philippines from August 25 to 27. 

The bilateral talks will include cooperation for humanitarian assistance and relief cooperation, the DND added.

The Philippines and Vietnam signed a defense cooperation agreement in 2010. 

Since the signing of the defense cooperation agreement between the Philippines and Vietnam in 2010, “defense relations between the two countries have progressed through high-level visits, personnel exchanges and information-sharing,” reads the DND statement.

READ: Pentagon chief to visit Manila

Thanh’s visit will be followed by Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel who will be in the Philippines on August 29 and 30.—

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