Singapore Boosts Ties With Vietnam
By WENDELL MINNICK, TAIPEI
Singapore Defense Minister Teo Chee Hean visited Vietnam on Sept. 24-26 at the invitation of his counterpart there, Gen. Phung Quang Thanh, to discuss improving bilateral defense relations, terrorism, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping operations. Both sides also agreed to exchange military representatives.
Teo also met with President Nguyen Minh Triet on Sept. 25 and other political and military leaders, and visited the Vietnam People’s Army School of Special Forces Training and the Institute of Defense International Relations. Teo also performed the obligatory laying of a wreath at the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh.
According to a press release issued by the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense, “President Triet highlighted the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries in many areas and expressed hope that Singapore will share its experiences in economic development and urban management.
“The two sides exchanged experiences in army building, the fight against terrorism, humanitarian aid, rescue of natural calamity victims and peacekeeping activities. They agreed to promote the exchange of delegations between the two ministries, enhancing bilateral and multilateral friendly cooperation between the armies and people of the two countries,” the release said. “For his part, Singaporean Minister Teo Chee Hean emphasized that Singapore attaches importance to promoting relations with Vietnam, which has played an increasingly important role in preserving peace, stability and development in Southeast Asia and in the world. He believed that bilateral security and defense cooperation will further develop on the basis of positive political and economic ties between the two countries.”
Vietnam’s military has more than 480,000 active-duty personnel, along with 4 million reservists, and more than 5 million paramilitary troops. Vietnam has no strategic missiles or blue-water navy.