The Vietnamese navy is upgrading its capacity with more advanced equipment and devices with peaceful intentions in protecting the country's sovereignty, Commander Nguyen Van Hien, also deputy minister of the Ministry of Defense, told Thanh Nien.
How do you assess the Vietnam People's Navy's current determination and capacity to protect the nation's sea and island sovereignty? How has the Navy's recent weapon purchases helped improve the country's defense capacity?
Vietnam is a country with a long coast and sea economy which accounts for a major proportion of the national economy. Therefore, developing the Navy to protect the nation's sovereignty and interests at sea, and securing a peaceful and stable environment for economic development are some of the top priorities of the Party, the government, and the Vietnam People's Army.
Currently, Vietnam's economy is developing and has had some reserves. Together with some military forces like the Air Defense Air Force, Communications and Electronic Welfare, the Navy is investing in equipment to guarantee that it is strong enough to defeat all schemes meant to violate Vietnam's sovereignty.
However, I want to note that Vietnam's defense policy is one of peace and self-defense. Even as Vietnam purchases more weapons, it still serves these purposes.
Vietnam's Navy purchases submarines, aircrafts, patrol ships, warships, and coastal missiles. The Navy never ceases to upgrade its fighting capacity so it can protect the sovereignty, jurisdiction and interests in Vietnam's waters. At the same time, it is willing to cooperate with other army forces to defeat every invasion at sea.
The government has reiterated that Vietnam military's modernization is only for self-defense and conducted in accordance with the country's economic capacity. Is it a challenge for the military and the Navy in catching up with the world's advanced military science and technologies?
Vietnam plans to modernize its military step by step, enhancing its defense potential only to maintain its military strength at a level necessary for self-defense. It is not for threatening or using military force in international relations, but we are ready and determined to fight back any invasion.
The country's potential is still limited, so it can't make sufficient equipment for the military and the Navy at once. However, the military and the Vietnam People's Navy try to use effectively what is provided by the Party, the government and people.
The fifth ASEAN Naval Chiefs' Meeting (ANCM) held in Hanoi late last month agreed that the cooperation of ASEAN naval forces is stronger in terms of scale and depth with greater practicability in recent years. Which factors have fostered the cooperative direction?
At the ACNM-5, the naval forces of ASEAN countries all agreed that the cooperation in recent years has been fostered and developed in terms of scales and depth with greater practicability. In my opinion, there are many factors helping promote the cooperative direction:
First, peace and cooperation is the common trend in the world at the moment. Any country needs peace and stability for cooperating and developing.
Second, challenges in traditional and non-traditional security are increasing issues in regions and across the world, affecting each country's economic growth, and threatening regions' peace, security and stability. Each nation alone cannot solve regional and global security issues. Therefore, cooperation is an obvious requirement for every nation.
Third, the objective of the Vietnam Navy as well as the naval forces of all ASEAN countries is to make contributions to maintain the region's peace, stability, and prosperous growth, and the establishment of the ASEAN political association in 2015.
Fourth, it is also the result of multilateral and bilateral cooperation efforts among ASEAN countries' naval forces over the past years and it has been fostered via four meetings and interactions among the forces between 2001 and 2010.
Hoang Sa (Paracel) Truong Sa (Spratly) are the nation's divine territories that many generations of fishermen and marine soldiers of dynasties and regimes have continuously protected over the past hundreds of years. What do you think about the opinion that proper recognition is needed for all Vietnamese people who sacrificed to protect the nation's sea and island sovereignty?
Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes are part of the divine territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Our people have undergone different periods and political regimes, agreeing to sacrifice to protect that part of the county's territory. In my opinion, it is a historical matter, and we need to respect and recognize achievements made by previous generations in protecting them.
Thank you very much!