Global Times: China-Vietnam maritime cooperation a mutual trust model in safeguarding regional security, stability

PRNewswire January 4, 2024

BEIJING, Jan. 4, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The China Coast Guard (CCG) and the Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) held the 7th high-level working meeting as well as a series of exchange activities in South China’s Guangzhou on December 4-8, with both sides vowing to jointly crack down on maritime crime to further consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries and deepen practical maritime cooperation and mutual trust. 

Upon China’s invitation, the VCG vessel 8002 visited Guangzhou from December 4 to 8 and participated in a series of exchanges and activities. 

After witnessing the candid conversations and deepened interactions between the two countries’ coast guards, and boarding the Vietnamese vessel, Global Times reporters concluded that mutual trust between the Chinese and Vietnamese coast guards has continually heightened through upgraded cooperation and smooth coordination, which have helped construct a new model in co-maintenance of regional security and stability.

Friendly cooperation a benchmark for the region

“Since the moment I arrived in Guangzhou, I have felt the friendship and warmth of our Chinese counterparts in the China Coast Guard,” Major General Le Quang Dao, commander of the VCG Command, said during the welcome ceremony for the Vietnamese delegation held on the morning of December 4. He mentioned that China and Vietnam share a long-standing tradition of friendship and unity, with mountains and waters connecting the two countries and two peoples. This tradition has been inherited and further developed in the present era.

The Global Times reporters noted that during the various exchange activities held on December 4, the words “mutual trust” and “cooperation” were frequently mentioned when Commander Le talked about the cooperation between the two countries’ coast guards. He also described the multilevel exchanges and cooperation between the two sides as a model of cooperation among regional countries’ maritime law enforcement.

During the 7th high-level working meeting between the two delegations, Commander Le expressed his pleasure at feeling the sincerity and brotherly affection from his Chinese counterparts. The VCG and CCG have established a close and substantial cooperation mechanism, with continuous expansion and deepening of cooperative activities, he said.

“Over the years, the coast guard forces of China and Vietnam have been united, overcoming difficulties, and carrying out many practical and effective cooperative activities. This has made a positive contribution to strengthening the trust between the maritime law enforcement forces of the two countries and maintaining regional security,” said Commander Le. “It is a highlight of maritime law enforcement among regional countries.”

CCG Director-General Major General Yu Zhong pointed out at the welcome ceremony that current maritime development faces unprecedented risks and challenges. As defenders of maritime security, practitioners of maritime governance, and protectors of maritime resources, coast guards from various countries must strengthen cooperation and make joint efforts to reduce risks and overcome difficulties. 

“In recent years, the friendly and trustworthy cooperation between the Chinese and Vietnamese coast guards has set an example for maritime law enforcement agencies of all countries, and has played a significant role in maintaining regional maritime security and stability,” said Yu.

The Global Times reporters also noted that as part of the VCG welcome, the roads on both sides of a dock on Changzhou Island, Guangzhou, where the VCG vessel 8002 was docked, were adorned with the bright red flags of China and Vietnam. Bilingual welcome banners and signs in Chinese and Vietnamese were also seen throughout the dock. 

The visiting VCG vessel 8002 also displayed a bilingual banner that reads “Greetings from the VCG 8002 to Guangzhou, China.” These details created a harmonious atmosphere for the meeting and the visit activities.

During the visit of the VCG delegation, the two sides held a series of activities, including a dock welcome and a farewell ceremony, drill exchanges, cultural and sports exchanges, ship visits, professional technical exchanges, and a deck reception.

Shi Yiyong, head of the CCG’s third bureau, said that the exchanges and mutual visits between the Chinese and Vietnamese coast guards are a concrete and authentic portrayal of and a testament to the friendly and traditional friendship between China and Vietnam. “We must inherit and carry forward the spirit of previous high-level meetings between China and Vietnam, especially the consensus on friendly cooperation between the two sides reached at this high-level working meeting.”

Visiting each other’s ships shows trust

Vietnamese media sources previously reported that the visiting VCG vessel 8002 was launched in 2014. The vessel, 90 meters long and 14 meters wide, has a capacity of over 12,000 horsepower and can operate at a maximum speed of 21 nautical miles per hour. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, the vessel is able to operate continuously for 40 days at sea at a range of 5,000 nautical miles, even in harsh weather condition including strong winds and huge waves. The vessel also has a helicopter pad, two high-speed rescue boats, weapons, and medical equipment. Vessel 8002, a multifunctional police boat, meets all international standards for vessels of its kind.

After the welcome ceremony held on December 4, the VCG invited CCG officers and Chinese media reporters to the VCG vessel 8002. During the visit, VCG officers introduced the onboard facilities to the Chinese visitors, and both sides conducted professional technical exchanges on the ship and exchanged gifts and souvenirs on the ship’s deck. 

The Global Times noted that during the visit, CCG Director-General Major General Yu also sat in the driver’s seat of the vessel 8002 together with VCG Commander Le upon the latter’s invitation, and learned about the vessel’s condition. 

The VCG delegation was also invited to visit the CCG vessel 3301. Global Times reporters learned that vessel 3301 has been in service since 2014 and is responsible for patrolling and supervising key maritime areas throughout the year, with its sailing trails covering the South China Sea. 

In 2017, the vessel also participated in the first joint patrol mission in the Beibu Gulf common fishing area with the VCG. 

The mutual visits of the main vessels by the two countries’ coast guard personnel demonstrate the mutual trust between the maritime law enforcement agencies of the two countries.

To enhance collaboration via exchanges

During the cultural and sports exchange event held on December 5, personnel from both the CCG and VCG participated in friendly matches in table tennis, volleyball, and soccer. In the soccer game, which requires a high level of teamwork, the two teams competed in a mixed formation of Chinese and Vietnamese police officers. The language barrier did not hinder them from deepening their mutual understanding of each other.

“Our solidarity and close cooperation with the VCG have left us with nice memories and countless unforgettable moments. The development of the event has allowed us to cross national borders and establish deep friendships,” Chen Zikui, a Chinese police officer who participated in the cultural and sports exchange activities, told the Global Times.

During the exchanges, the coast guard personnel from both sides also cooperated in joint rescue, firefighting, and international signaling exercises. 

Wei Changhang from the CCG’s third bureau, who participated in the exchange activity, told reporters that he was impressed by the VCG officers’ excellent dedication and professionalism which is worth learning from.

“During this joint rescue operation, the crew of the VCG vessel 8002 demonstrated good seamanship, skilled technique, and a strong work ethic, which truly impressed us. We look forward to having the opportunity to deepen exchanges and learning,” said Shen Li, the Chinese commander in charge of the exercise. 

The Global Times learned that both sides will continue to explore the potential for joint patrols in the Beibu Gulf, and to establish a young officer exchange cooperation mechanism, while collaborating in combating illegal maritime activities to further consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries, handle maritime emergencies safely, and jointly maintain maritime security and stability.


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SOURCE Global Times

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