Soundings Papers: Vietnam’s Maritime Security Challenges and Regional Defence and Security Cooperation

Soundings No. 14
Soundings No. 14

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Commander Anh Duc Ton

According to the National Security Law of Vietnam, national security is defined as the stable, sustainable development of the socialist regime and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of the nation. Based on this definition and the Vietnam Defence White Paper (DWP) 2009, the most fundamental challenges to Vietnam’s national security are a potential decline in Vietnam’s economic growth trajectory; interference by hostile forces in the country’s internal affairs; the ongoing disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime jurisdiction in the South China Sea; and non-traditional security threats. These non-traditional threats are principally piracy, organised trans-national crimes, Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing, maritime smuggling, environmental degradation, and climate change.

Vietnam’s national security concerns cover a broad spectrum, and both traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges are addressed in this paper.