PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – Malaysia and Vietnam will become the centre of focus with important missions in 2020 whereby Malaysia is set to host the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) while Vietnam will chair ASEAN in addition to being appointed as a member of the United Nations Security Council, said Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Defence Liew Chin Tong.
“Both Malaysia and Vietnam are littoral countries in the South China Sea area, which should aptly witness closer and better defence co-operation and international ties in facing future challenges,’’ he said in a statement at the 12th Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) themed ‘Sustaining Peace in Time of Uncertainties: Toward Greater Regional Resilience and Responsiveness’ in Hanoi, Vietnam on December 5.
He said the role of ASEAN was to bring back the United States and China on track and avoiding widening the gap between them.
“Meanwhile, ASEAN, taking cognisance that the United States had opted to see China as a strategic competitor, must actively endeavour for peace and ensure both the superpowers do not miscalculate, and helping China understand the region better, as such not raising fears among the small nations in the region,” he said.
During the visit, Liew also paid a courtesy call on his counterpart Vietnam People’s Army Chief of General Staff and Vice Minister of National Defence Lieutenant-General Phan Van Giang.
He also congratulated the latter over the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Vietnam People’s Army, and exchanged views on the regional security situation.
Liew and General Phan also exchanged opinions on the two White Papers whereby the Malaysian Minister of Defence Mohamad Sabu had tabled the Defence White Paper in Parliament on December 2 while Vietnam published it on November 25.