Vietnam-Philippines: Ancient Partners for Peaceful Seas
|Welcome the delegation of officers and crew of the Philippine ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16) to visit Vietnam from September 7-10, 2019. Photo: WVR|
Long-standing bond between the two countries
Speaking about the close relationship between the two countries that dates back many centuries, Philippines' Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr. said: “Before Europeans set foot in our region, ships from Luzon were often anchored in the Gulf of Tonkin. Since then, the above attachment has continued to be the highlight of the relationship between the two countries."
Teodoro Lopez Locsin Jr also said that since ancient times, Vietnam and the Philippines interact "mainly through sea trade, since Vietnam is our closest neighbor to the west and is located on the other side of the sea."
Officials of Vietnam and the Philippines have repeatedly emphasized that, in the spirit of friendship and friendliness, the two countries have helped many fishermen stranded in each other's waters.
Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said that Vietnam and the Philippines share views on many issues related to peace and security in the region, including the Bien Dong Sea issue.
Taking maritime issues seriously
As coastal countries in the same sea, both Vietnam and the Philippines attach great importance to maritime issues.
Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Meynardo LB. Montealegre said: “As countries with common interests in the face of common challenges in the Bien Dong Sea, Vietnam and the Philippines have collaborated to achieve common goals.” Maritime cooperation is the cornerstone that helped form the strategic partnership between Vietnam and the Philippines in 2015.
Cooperation between the two countries on maritime issues, especially in the Bien Dong Sea, "is the natural and instinctive nature of our two peoples", said Ambassador Meynardo LB. Montealegre. The seafarers of both countries have been communicating with each other in the Bien Dong Sea for many centuries, and continue to support each other to this day.
|The 5th personnel exchange between the Vietnamese Navy and the Philippine Navy, September 10, 2019. Photo: baohaiquanvietnam.vn|
Ambassador Meynardo LB. Montealegre said: “We still remember and sincerely acknowledge the support of Vietnamese fishermen for Filipino fishermen in June 2018. In fact, Vietnam has saved many of our fishermen in distress at sea, sometimes even bringing them back to shore or helping them find their way back to the ship.”
Enhancing navy exchanges
Defense cooperation, especially in the navy, between Vietnam and the Philippines has seen many good developments in recent years, making positive contributions to promoting the strategic partnership between the two countries.
According to Deputy Minister of National Defense Hoang Xuan Chien, the cooperation agreement between the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense and the Philippine Department of National Defense signed in October 2010 opens a new page in defense relations between the two countries.
The exchange of naval forces stationed on Song Tu Tay and Song Tu Dong islands held since 2014 has become a bright spot in Vietnam-Philippines naval cooperation, contributing to enhancing friendship and cooperation, mutual trust and understanding between the armies and navies of the two countries in general, and between the forces stationed in the two islands in particular.
Through this, the two countries can enhance the coordination ability of their navies in search and rescue activities, information sharing, maritime security and safety issues, and contribute to maintaining peace, stability and security in the Bien Dong Sea region.
It can be said that Vietnam-Philippines relations are developing rapidly in all fields of politics, defense, trade, investment, culture, and people-to-people exchanges. However, it is easy to see that a cross-cutting point is that the cooperation relationship in maritime issues is always respected and promoted by both sides.
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