Việt Nam attends meetings between ASEAN and partners, supporting South China Sea rules

March 09, 2023 - 12:29
Vietnamese Ambassador Vũ Hồ pointed out the priorities and measures of cooperation between ASEAN and partners including the US, India, ASEAN + 3 and East Asia cooperation.
The ASEAN+3 meeting held in Jakarta on March 7-8, 2023. — VNA/VNS Photo

JAKARTA — Ambassador Vũ Hồ, Acting Head of ASEAN SOM Việt Nam, on March 7-8 led a delegation to attend the 35th ASEAN-US Dialogue, the 25th ASEAN-India Senior Officials’ Meeting (AISOM), the ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting (with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) and SOM East Asia Summit (with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, India, Australia and New Zealand).

Participants to the meetings reviewed and agreed on the orientation of cooperation between ASEAN and its partners and reviewed the preparation for the Foreign Ministers' Meeting and the summits between ASEAN and its partners in 2023.

ASEAN countries proposed partners step up cooperation and effectively support ASEAN in building the community, contributing to peace, stability and common prosperity in the region. The partners reaffirmed their support for ASEAN's central role in leading dialogue and cooperation in the region, committed to participating and constructively contributing to ASEAN-led mechanisms, and shaping a region of open, inclusive, transparent, and based on international law.

The ASEAN partners proposed a variety of broad and diverse cooperation measures. The US and India were committed to working with ASEAN to effectively implement the new comprehensive strategic partnerships established in the past year.

Within the framework of ASEAN+3 and East Asia Summit, the partners proposed promoting market opening and trade liberalisation, ensuring smooth economic - trade - investment, and expanding cooperation in digital transformation, energy, food security, green and sustainable development and response to climate change. They also proposed strengthening regional health capacity against future epidemic risks, creating conditions for expanding people-to-people exchanges and connectivity after the pandemic. At the same time, members were committed to devoting resources to sub-regional cooperation and narrowing the gap in ASEAN.

Regarding regional and international issues of common concern, the countries emphasised that the complex and unpredictable developments in the geopolitical and geo-economic picture in the region posed great challenges for ASEAN as well as cooperation mechanisms chaired by ASEAN.

Accordingly, ASEAN and its partners need to maintain dialogues, build trust, comply with international law, the values and principles of the United Nations Charter, the ASEAN Charter, and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC). The partners need to restrain, avoiding disagreements and conflicts that affect the atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation efforts in the region. ASEAN welcomed the partners to support the ASEAN Perspectives on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and effectively implement cooperation in the region.

The partners supported the role and efforts of ASEAN over the past time in assisting Myanmar to find a feasible and sustainable solution to the current crisis through the implementation of the 5-Point Consensus of ASEAN leaders; and reaffirmed their support for the principled stance of ASEAN on the South China Sea (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea), fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon developing a Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (COC) that is effective and practical, in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Speaking at these meetings, Vietnamese Ambassador Vũ Hồ pointed out the priorities and measures of cooperation between ASEAN and partners including the US, India, ASEAN + 3 and East Asia cooperation.

He emphasised the need to promote appropriate strengths and resources to accelerate the recovery and growth in the region, narrow the development gap and develop sub-regions including the Mekong sub-region.

Regarding the South China Sea, Hồ reaffirmed ASEAN's principled stance, emphasised the importance of complying with international law and 1982 UNCLOS; and supported the full and effective implementation of the DOC and the promotion of negotiations to build an effective, substantive COC in accordance with international law and 1982 UNCLOS.

The Ambassador emphasised that ASEAN and China have promoted the COC negotiation process in 2023, showing the determination of the parties to build trust, towards building the South China Sea into a sea of peace and cooperation.

Indonesia, Chair of ASEAN 2023, announced that it will organise the Foreign Ministerial Meetings between ASEAN and its partners in July 2023 and the summits between ASEAN and its partners in September 2023. — VNS