US Secretary of Defense Austin, who is visiting Southeast Asia, meets with Vietnam's Defense Minister Zan and confirms the importance of freedom of navigation, keeping in mind that China is intensifying military activities in the South China Sea. However, we have agreed to promote cooperation between the two countries.

US Secretary of Defense Austin, who is visiting Southeast Asian countries, met with Defense Minister Zhang in Vietnam on the morning of the 29th.

At the beginning of the meeting, Secretary Austin said, "One of our goals is to secure freedom and space for our allies and partners to envision their own future. To strengthen cooperation between the two countries and to share common interests and values. I want to talk to you. "

According to the Vietnamese government's announcement, at the meeting, opinions were exchanged on security issues, and with the South China Sea in mind, "respecting the legal rights and interests of coastal countries, freedom of navigation in the ocean in accordance with international law, etc." I confirmed the importance. "

And they have agreed to promote defensive cooperation between the two countries.

In the South China Sea, China, which claims jurisdiction over almost the entire area, is intensifying its military activities as it contends for sovereignty with Vietnam and other countries.

The United States wants to strengthen relations with Southeast Asian countries in order to counter China, which is positioned as the "largest competitor", and aims to strengthen its involvement in the South China Sea issue through this visit by the Secretary of Defense. Seems to be.

Vietnam "China Deterrence" Effectiveness Carefully Determined

Vietnam welcomes defensive cooperation with the United States, but is expected to carefully assess how effective it will be to deter China's advance into the ocean.

Vietnam and the United States once fought a fierce battle in the Vietnam War, but in 2015 Vietnam's Supreme Leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, Communist Party Secretary General, visited the United States for the first time after the end of the war. did.

Since 2018, US aircraft carriers have also called at Vietnam's ports, and the United States has provided patrol boats to Vietnam. In recent years, the two countries have been rapidly strengthening their relationship.

However, during this period, China has been strengthening its expansion by reclaiming the islands of the South China Sea, constructing facilities that appear to be for military purposes, and establishing new administrative districts.

For this reason, the Vietnamese side is skeptical that China cannot be deterred even if it cooperates with the United States, and there is concern that the South China Sea will be the stage of the conflict between the United States and China, increasing the risk of collisions and accidents. I am.

Vietnam is expected to carefully determine whether the involvement of the Biden administration in the United States will lead to the deterrence of China, which is strengthening its advance into the ocean, while paying attention to specific actions and remarks.