US lawmakers support ASEAN’s central role in region

May 13, 2022 - 13:40

Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and leaders of other ASEAN countries had a working lunch with US lawmakers in Washington DC on May 12 (US time).


Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi addressed the working lunch. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

WASHINGTON — Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and leaders of other ASEAN countries had a working lunch with US lawmakers in Washington DC on May 12 (US time).

The ASEAN leaders were welcomed by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi at Capitol Hill.

Participants discussed issues related to cooperation in trade, investment, people-to-people exchange, science-technology, renewable energy development, and the response to security challenges in the region and the world.

Commenting on the significant role of ASEAN to peace, stability and development in the region, US parliamentarians affirmed their support for the central role of the association, pledging to work for the US’ active, constructive and responsible engagement in regional cooperation.

They suggested the priority of efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and promote recovery, encouraging more cooperation proposals, initiatives and programmes in areas of common interest.

They expressed hope that the two sides will strengthen collaboration to promote dialogue and cooperation for the effective response and settlement of challenges and issues in the region, while lauding efforts to build a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), contributing to maintaining and ensuring an environment of peace, security and stability in the region.

Vietnamese Prime Minister (second from left) along with other ASEAN leaders at the working lunch with the US lawmakers in Washington DC. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

Speaking at the event, PM Chính highly valued the companionship and support of the US Congress, which has made an important contribution to the dynamic and strong development of the ASEAN-US relationship over the past 45 years. On this occasion, the Vietnamese Government leader thanked the US Congress and people for assisting ASEAN, including Việt Nam, in COVID-19 prevention and control over the past two years.

PM Chính underlined that changes in the regional and global situation are challenges and also motivation for the ASEAN and the US to work with each other for common development. ASEAN welcomes the US’ commitments to supporting the role of the regional association, and is willing to coordinate with the US to overcome the pandemic, while keeping the door open wide for US businesses to seek investment opportunities in ASEAN for successful recovery and maintenance of supply chains.

ASEAN expects world powers, including the US, to cooperate with the association in ensuring peace, stability, aviation and maritime security, safety and freedom in the South China Sea, he stated.

The Vietnamese leader proposed the building of regular contacts through meetings between the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) and the US Congress in order to reinforce trust and maintain sincere dialogue in all fields of cooperation.

It is necessary to establish a cooperative relationship on the foundation of equality and mutual benefits among legislative bodies, paving the way for long-term and comprehensive cooperation among parliaments for effective policy coordination in coping with common challenges, he stated.

The PM also stressed the need to give more attention to cooperation programmes for inclusive, equal and sustainable development, creating conditions for future generations to develop together. He expressed his hope that the US will cooperate with ASEAN in efforts to narrow the development gap in the region, especially to bring remote areas like those in the Mekong region into the common development flow of countries and the whole region.

Following the working lunch with US lawmakers, the same day, PM Chính and leaders of other ASEAN countries met with representatives of major US businesses. — VNS