Vietnam issues defense White Paper with emphasis on peaceful resolution of disputes

By Hoang Thuy, Gia Chinh   November 25, 2019 | 07:12 pm PT
Vietnam issues defense White Paper with emphasis on peaceful resolution of disputes
Deputy Minister of National Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh presents Vietnam's 2019 Vietnam National Defense White Paper in Hanoi, November 25, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh.
The Ministry of National Defense has released a White Paper on defense with a focus on two main principles: peace and self-defense.

The White Paper on Vietnam National Defense expounds the country's defense strategy and a number of other military-related policies.

Deputy Minister of National Defense Colonel General Nguyen Chi Vinh said Monday: "The paper aims to advocate transparency in defense policies to enhance trust and understanding between Vietnam and other nations."

The White Paper said the current defense spending was commensurate with the country’s economic development, increasing from 2.23 percent of GDP in 2010 to 2.36 percent in 2018 to approximately $5.8 billion.

The increased spending improved Vietnam's capability to defend its sovereignty, territory and interests while posing no threat to other countries.

Vietnam consistently sought to settle all international disputes through peaceful measures on the basis of international law, but would take necessary actions to protect its sovereignty, territory and national interests when threatened. 

The country would not join any military alliance, align with a particular state over any dispute, allow any foreign state to set up military bases on its soil to threaten the sovereignty of others, or use or threaten to use force as leverage in international diplomacy.

It would increase military co-operation with other nations to increase its capability to defend itself and help resolve international security issues.

In certain situations, Vietnam was ready to consider developing military and defense relations with other states at appropriate levels on the basis of mutual respect for each other's sovereignty and territory under international law.

Vinh emphasized: "Vietnam respects the sovereignty of all nations, and expects its own sovereignty to be mutually respected by others.

"Vietnam hopes to actively contribute to international peace, security and co-operation."

The White Paper, published in English and Vietnamese, announces changes in military structure and organization and future directions for the People’s Army.

It is divided into three sections: Vietnam’s strategic scenario and policies, Vietnam’s military development and the history of the People’s Army of Vietnam.

This is the fourth time the country has issued a defense White Paper after earlier ones in 1998, 2004 and 2009.

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