Defense Minister Wei Fenghe (right) and his Vietnamese counterpart Phan Van Giang cross the border into China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Saturday. (LI XIAOWEI/FOR CHINA DAILY)
The Chinese and Vietnamese militaries should strengthen cooperation in maintaining maritime security and cross-border stability, Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said while meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart on Saturday.
The two defense ministers met at Chongzuo in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and the Vietnamese city of Cao Bang, which borders the region, as part of the seventh China-Vietnam Border Defense Friendship Exchange.
The exchange has become an annual event for the two sides aiming to strengthen political trust, friendship and cooperation between border forces, authorities and people in the area.
During the meeting, Wei said the two sides held exchange activities on border defense for two consecutive years despite the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the deep friendship and maintaining the good momentum of friendly exchanges between the two military establishments.
He said the two militaries should maintain high-level strategic communication, strengthen maritime security cooperation and promote exchanges in professional fields.
The two sides should also improve the border cooperation mechanism, continue to crack down on cross-border crimes, and control the pandemic in order to maintain peace along the border.
Wei stressed the two should properly deal with their maritime differences and prevent interference by extraterritorial countries in order to maintain stability in the South China Sea.
Phan Van Giang, Vietnam's defense minister, expressed his gratitude for China's providing COVID-19 vaccines.
He said development of Vietnam-China relations is a priority of Vietnam's diplomacy and that defense cooperation is also an important backbone of the comprehensive strategic partnership.
He said the Vietnam military is willing to deepen cooperation with the Chinese side in border management, military political work and military medicine, and make new contributions to maintaining peace and stability at the border and promoting bilateral relations.