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Confirming that Vietnam’s Cam Ranh port in the central province of Khanh Hoa will not become a foreign military base but Minister of Defence, General Phung Quang Thanh, said that a logistics center will be built to supply services for both domestic and foreign ships.
Minister of Defence Phung Quang Thanh.
VietNamNet takes note the talk between General Thanh and correspondents on the sideline of the National Assembly session on November 1.
In the press conference after the 17th ASEAN Summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung disclosed the plan to build a logistical center at the Cam Ranh port, which will provide logistical services based on the market mechanism to naval vessels from all countries, including submarines. Could you give more details about this plan?
Vietnam’s navy has been modernizing to defend the country’s sea sovereignty so we need a logistical center to repair and maintain naval ships.
However, it will be a big waste if this logistics center only serves Vietnam’s naval ships because the investment in this project is very large. Therefore, the Cam Ranh port will be also opened for cargo or naval vessels from other countries, under Vietnam’s management regulations.
Vietnam is preparing for this project. We may have to hire foreign consultants. For example, if we buy Russian technology, we will have to hire some Russian experts.
What is the attitude of countries in the region?
Regional countries don’t have any reaction because this is part of our sovereignty. Countries in the region (including China) have opened deep-ports, which work as logistical centers for foreign ships. US ships also use these services.
How about the scale and capacity of this logistic centre?
We are designing this project and negotiating to hire Russian consultants. There will have many other procedures that must be realized before the project is submitted to relevant agencies for approves.
At this moment, I can’t say about the scale and the total investment in this project. However, this centre will mainly serve small repair, not overhaul because overhaul is often conducted at the shipyards where ships are built.
How can Vietnam keep military secrets and ensure national defense and security when this logistical center is built?
This center will be opened for technological logistical services only, not for Vietnamese naval ships so it will not affect Vietnam’s military secrets. This will also not a foreign military base and will not be leased as foreign logistical centre.
Why does Vietnam select Russian consultants and equipment?
It is easy to understand. Vietnam’s weapons and military equipment were mainly provided by Russia. We will also buy new weapons from Russia.
Russia is Vietnam’s strategic and reliable partner and Russian weapons are modern and have reasonable prices. Moreover, Vietnam is familiar with Russian weapons.
I believe that it will be cheaper for hiring Russian consultants and purchasing Russian technology than those from Western countries.
Will Vietnam supply submarine repairing services?
This base will repair submarines, civil and military vessels. Aircraft carriers are special vessels that we are unable to repair now.
When will the logistical center at Cam Ranh Port be built? How are the human resources for it?
We need at least three years to build this center. This project is currently at the starting phase. We plan to train sailors, engineers and technicians overseas.
Apart from economic interests, how Vietnam benefit from this logistic centre?
Besides economic purpose, the establishment of this center will enable the exchange of the navy between Vietnam and other countries. We can learn from the experience in repairing and maintaining naval vessels, etc. from other countries because we still lack experience necessary to modernize the navy.
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