Philippines, Vietnam reaffirm defense cooperation following 45 years of diplomatic relation

The Republic of the Philippines and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam marked their 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties on 12 July 2021. For the past 45 years, the two countries have shown notable developments of bilateral diplomatic relations through cooperation in various fields, including defense and security. Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana and Minister of National Defense General Phan Van Giang have exchanged congratulatory letters to commemorate the anniversary.

The Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership, which was signed by former President Benigno Aquino III and Viet Nam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dun in November 2015, serves as a framework for the Philippines and Viet Nam to further develop confidence-building, boost friendly relations, and promote cooperation both at the bilateral and multilateral levels.

In line with the Department’s policy thrust to prioritize defense engagements with the Philippines’ strategic partners, defense cooperation between the Philippines and Viet Nam have been developing throughout the years, particularly after the conclusion of the 2010 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Defense Cooperation.

The Department of National Defense of the Philippines and the Ministry of Defense of Viet Nam conducted the inaugural Vice Ministers’ Defense Strategic Dialogue (VMDSD) in April 2015 in Hanoi, Viet Nam. Furthermore, the Defense Cooperation Working Group (DCWG) was established to monitor and evaluate existing defense cooperation activities, as well as explore other areas of defense cooperation. Personnel interaction have also been sustained through cultural and sports activities between the Philippine Navy and Viet Nam People’s Navy.

The conclusion of the said frameworks and establishment of cooperative mechanisms are manifestations of the shared commitment between the Philippine and Vietnamese defense sectors to enhance cooperation at all levels from policy consultations between the defense establishments to practical activities between the armed forces.

As both defense establishments continue to work together, it is expected that the conduct of strategic dialogue, high-level visits, education and training exchanges, intelligence exchange, and defense industry and logistics cooperation, among others, will increase between the Philippine and Vietnamese defense sector in the coming years. DND.GOV.PH