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China opens direct military phone links with Vietnam, ROK

Updated: Jan 1,2016 9:30 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The Defense Ministry officially launched direct phone links with the defense ministries of Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (ROK) on Dec 31, 2015.

State Councilor Chang Wanquan, also the defense minister, had his first phone conversations with his Vietnamese counterpart Phung Quang Thanh and ROK counterpart Han Min-koo separately on Dec 31, said the ministry’s spokesperson Yang Yujun at a monthly press briefing.

According to Yang, during his conversation with Thanh, Chang said China-Vietnam relations continued improving in 2015 as Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, made successful visits to each other’s country.

It is in accordance with the interests of China and Vietnam to enhance and deepen defense cooperation, Chang said, adding that China attaches great importance to defense cooperation with Vietnam.

China is willing to work with Vietnam to implement the consensus reached by Xi and Trong and properly manage and control differences so as to push forward bilateral military ties, said Chang.

Thanh spoke highly of the progress made on developing bilateral military ties, adding that Vietnam is ready to forge ahead the ties in the new year so as to benefit both peoples.

China and Vietnam agreed to set up a military direct phone link in a joint statement issued during Trong’s visit to Beijing in 2011.

During his conversation with Han Min-koo, Chang said China is glad to see relations with the ROK have developed in all areas.

China would like to continue to implement the consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and his ROK counterpart Park Geun-hye and enhance military cooperation so as to jointly safeguard regional peace, stability and prosperity, Chang said.

Hailing the steady development of bilateral ties and military ties, Han said the ROK will take the opportunity of establishing direct phone links to further step up communication with China and boost mutual trust.

China and the ROK reached an agreement to launch the direct phone link at a summit between Xi and Park held in July 2014 in Seoul.

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