Malaysia, Vietnam should develop closer international relations, says deputy minister

Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong says Malaysia and Vietnam should develop closer international relations and strengthen defence cooperation in the face of challenges ahead. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong says Malaysia and Vietnam should develop closer international relations and strengthen defence cooperation in the face of challenges ahead. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 ― Malaysia and Vietnam should develop closer international relations and strengthen defence cooperation in the face of challenges ahead.

Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong in a statement today said both Malaysia and Vietnam are “aspiring middle powers” with important missions in 2020: Malaysia to host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) and Vietnam taking over the Asean chair as well as being elected to United Nations Security Council.

Liew said this in his opening speech at the 12th Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) themed “Sustaining Peace in Time of Uncertainties: Toward Greater Regional Resilience and Responsiveness” in Hanoi, Vietnam on Thursday.

Liew in his speech, among others jokingly urged CSCAP to maintain the name “Asia Pacific” and not change it to “Indo Pacific”.

“Asean’s role is to guide the United States and China in taking the middle path and in the process preventing further gaps between the world’s superpowers,” he said.

Meanwhile Asean has noted that the US had chosen to see China as a strategic competitor, Asean would need to actively pursue peace, ensure that both superpowers do not miscalculate, and to help China to understand the region better thus not causing anxieties among smaller nations in the region, he added.

During the one day visit Liew also paid a courtesy call on his counterpart Vice Minister of National Defence and Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Phan Văn Giang during which he congratulated Vietnam on its 75th anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army.

In the meeting they also  exchanged views on the regional security situation.

Liew also had an engagement session with Vietnam’s military thinkers at the Institute for Defence International Relations (IDIR), Ministry of National Defence. ― Bernama

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