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Vietnam Today

Future diplomatic tasks identified

Released at: 12:39, 27/08/2016

Future diplomatic tasks identified

Photo: VGP

29th Diplomatic Conference in Hanoi discusses the role of Vietnam's diplomacy in a changing world.

by Ha Nguyen

Vietnam’s diplomats have clearly identified one of the country’s future tasks as being to maintain a peaceful and stable environment that will contribute to protecting national independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity, a week-long conference was told.

This would raise Vietnam’s profile and prestige to serve national construction and defense, the final announcement from the 29th Diplomatic Conference held in Hanoi from 22 to 26 August noted.

The country’s diplomatic sector will work to deepen relations with country partners, especially strategic partners and powers important to the country’s development and security, step up international integration, improve the efficiency of international economic integration, effectively implement free trade agreements with partners, and mobilize external resources to serve the country’s sustainable development, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

Tasks also include improving the efficiency of multilateral diplomacy, actively participating in the activities of regional and international organizations and multilateral forums, especially ASEAN, the UN, and sub-region mechanisms, taking the initiative in contributing to forming multilateral institutions, realizing signed agreements, and affirming and carrying forward the country’s role as a responsible member of the international community.

At the same time, it is important for the diplomatic sector to improve the efficiency of foreign news services, overseas Vietnamese affairs, and citizen protection activities, promote the Party’s external relations and people-to-people diplomacy, and combine diplomacy with national security and defense.

Significantly, the foreign affairs sector will strive to train conscientious and competent diplomats to meet the higher requirements of comprehensive international integration.

In his closing remarks at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh stressed that the diplomatic sector has grasped the directions and strategic orientations of the 12th Party Congress and will spare no effort to raise efficiency in external activities and international integration.

The conference heard speeches from Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and the President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan.

In a press conference prior to the conference, Deputy PM Minh insisted that Vietnam would not allow itself to be pulled into the strategic games of major global players. Rather, it will pursue its independence and self-reliance.

“Vietnam has learned precious lessons and will not allow any party to drag it into such competition,” he said. “Vietnam pursues a foreign policy of independence and self-reliance. Experience shows that only by following that path can we defend our independence and sovereignty.”

Regarding possible conflict in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea) and strategies to maintain the country’s sovereignty over seas and islands, Deputy PM Minh said it was not just an issue for countries in the region as it is a trade route of extreme importance for the world.

“Ensuring navigation security and safety is a joint goal for countries inside and outside of the region,” he said. “All countries are responsible for maintaining stability in the East Sea since any incident will hinder trade.”

Mr. Murray Hiebert, Senior Adviser and Deputy Director of Southeast Asia at the Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), advised Vietnam to allow more time to review the current status carefully before taking any action.

“I think there might be some merit in Vietnam exploring whether China has changed any of its thinking about the East Sea following the court ruling [the Arbitral Court in The Hague] in July,” he told VET on August 26. “Vietnam may want to wait to see how Beijing treats Manila before pursuing its own overtures.”

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