Vietnam has updated national defence legislation providing guidance for a range of related policies, regulations, and initiatives including efforts to modernise the country’s state-run defence industrial base.
The Law on National Defence 2018 will be formally enacted on 1 January 2019 and replaces legislation introduced in 2005. This 2005 law underpinned Vietnam’s 2009 Defence White Paper (DWP 2009) and the 2018 amendment is similarly expected to be followed by a new Defence White Paper in the near future.
Through comments provided by Lieutenant General Nguyen Duy Nguyen, head of the department of the civil self-defence and militia forces of the Vietnam People’s Army’s (VPA’s) general staff, the Vietnam Ministry of National Defence (MND) recently released some details about the new legislation.
Citing comments by Lt Gen Nguyen, the MND said the 2018 defence law amalgamates a number of directives and regulations that were introduced after the 2005 legislation was enacted. The 2018 law also provides requirements for the VPA to respond to what Lt Gen Nguyen said were “new situations” including emerging non-conventional threats such as cyber and information warfare.
He added that in light of these threats the defence law also includes updated policies on science and technology development and defence industrial modernisation. A related priority, said Lt Gen Nguyen, is to position Vietnam to develop Industry 4.0 capabilities – such as artificial intelligence and robotics – in the defence domain.
Other new provisions, he said, outline the roles of the VPA and its associated navy and air force divisions, a plan to reduce the number of businesses owned and operated by the VPA, and the expected role of the VPA in contributing to national development.