This conference aims to comprehensively assess the results attained by the Government in implementing the 11th Politburo’s Resolution No. 22-NQ/TW dated April 10, 2013 on international integration, and the 12th Party Central Committee’s Resolution No. 06-NQ/TW dated November 5, 2016  on effectively implementing the process of international integration and maintaining socio-political stability in the context of Vietnam’s participation in new-generation free trade agreements,” with a focus on the period of 2014-2019. The conference will also draw lessons and propose appropriate measures to strengthen international integration in the coming time.

Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son granted reporter of the People’s Army Newspaper on the outcomes of the country’s international integration in recent years, with a focus on the defense and security fields.

Reporter: What political, defense and security outcomes do you think the international integration process has so far brought to the country?

Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son: The comprehensive political, defense and security outcomes of the international integration process are significant, which has contributed to maintaining a stable and peaceful environment for the development and protection of the Fatherland. I can list three main outcomes:

First, the process has raised the trust in Vietnam of its partners, particularly its strategic and comprehensive partners. With their high confidence in Vietnam, they all want to expand cooperation with the country.

Second, as part of the international integration process, Vietnam has actively participated in and contributed positively to promoting peace, stability and development in the region and world. Particularly, Vietnam has sent its troops and a unit to UN peacekeeping missions, which has in return strengthened our defense and improved the country’s status in the region and world. In participating in UN peacekeeping operations, the country has expanded cooperation in both multilateral and bilateral spheres facilitating the national defense building and the protection of the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son

Third, the positive political, defense and security outcomes of the international integration process have laid a firm foundation for the country’s cooperation with international partners in the other fields of trade and economics, science and technology, healthcare and education. Regarding trade and economic benefits, eight out of Vietnam’s strategic and comprehensive partners represent eight out of its 10 largest export markets with more than 60% of its export values, nine out of its 10 largest import markets with more than 74% of the total import values, more than 76% of the total foreign visitors to the country, and 74% of the total foreign investment in the country.

Additionally, Vietnam has improved the national capacity during international integration. Absorbing good experience around the world, the country has issued sound policies for socio-economic development, human resource development, science and technology, culture as well as defense and security consolidation.

In line with the Party’s and State’s guidelines, the country is taking and will take various positions at international organizations, and has contributed importantly to finding solutions to major international issues, such as the East Sea (South China Sea) issue, nuclear non-proliferation, climate change response, at multilateral forums led by ASEAN and the UN.

Reporter:What is the importance, do you think, of the country’s preservation of a peaceful and stable environment to make full use of benefits that the international integration process in the fields of politics, defense and security would generate?

Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son: The international integration process in the fields of politics, defense and security creates favorable conditions for the country to maintain a peaceful and stable environment. When promoting international integration in these fields, Vietnam has also contributed to promoting peace and stability in the world. With its contributions to the international community, the country has gained more prestige and support from the international arena, which in return can help strengthen national defense and capabilities, in line with the Party’s and State’s guideline “To protect the country from afar.”

Reporter: Could you elaborate on the guideline “To protect the country from afar” in the current context?

Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son: The international integration process in the fields of politics, defense and security will help the country boost relations and expand cooperation with key partners, particularly its strategic and comprehensive partners, as well as traditional friends, which contributes to national peace and stability.

Particularly when Vietnam has successfully hosted international events, it has raised the national status and position. More countries wish to boost relations and cooperation with Vietnam. When relations and cooperation between Vietnam and other countries and international cooperation increase and develop, this will create interwoven interests between Vietnam and other countries, which will contribute to protecting the country’s peace and stability as well as national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Furthermore, Vietnam can expand defense and security cooperation with other countries via its international integration activities, which also contributes to increasing the country’s defense capabilities and national security. 

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. Deputy Foreign Minister!

Interviewed by Phuong Linh

Translated by Thu Nguyen