VN attends forum preparing for 2021 Shangri-La Dialogue

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Lieutenant General Vu Chien Thang, director of Vietnam’s Foreign Relations Department speaks at the forum. QUAN DOI NHAN DAN/VIET NAM NEWS

Vietnam took part in the 9th Fullerton Forum, held via videoconference on January 18-19 to prepare for the Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, the Quan doi Nhan dan (People’s Army) newspaper reported.

The forum, with the participation of more than 20 Asian-Pacific nations, was an occasion for defence policy makers to discuss emerging security challenges ahead of the 2021 Shangri-La Dialogue.

Based on countries’ concerns, organisers of the 2021 Shangri-La Dialogue will identify issues that attract great attention to design the agenda for the coming event, set to take place in Singapore from June 4-6.

At the Fullerton Forum, Lieutenant General Vu Chien Thang, director of the Foreign Relations Department at the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence, delivered a speech at the third session on the strategic uses of emerging technologies.

He noted that scientific and technological advances have considerably contributed to economic development and ensuring defence-security in each country, while creating a solid foundation for proactive response to impacts of non-traditional security challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, there are also adverse effects, Thang noted, elaborating that scientific and technological advances are among causes of new forms of warfare such as cyberwarfare and “grey-zone” warfare, as well as risks of conflict and tension escalation.

Given this, he pointed out the necessity to have mechanisms for managing and monitoring the application of military scientific and technological advances to minimise adverse impacts.

Thang suggested that countries should keep their defence and military science – technology development policies transparent. They also need to enhance international cooperation to manage risks that advanced technology may pose to the security of each country, the region and the world at large.

Dr Samir Puri, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) – the organising body of the Fullerton Forum and the Shangri-La Dialogue, who chaired the third session, applauded Vietnam for laying emphasis on the need to bring into play effective regional security cooperation mechanisms led by ASEAN.

These, he said, include the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, in mainlining strategic dialogue and using information technology to organise teleconferenced discussions.

VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK