|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (fourth from left) attends the 17th ASEAN-China Summit. VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
NAY PYI TAW (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung suggested countries participating in the ninth East Asia Summit (EAS) in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, yesterday set up a long-term vision to build a regional architecture of peace, stability and development.
He said this was needed to uphold EAS's role in promoting economic growth and regional connectivity and integration.
Dung asked participating countries to support efforts to build an ASEAN Community by 2015 as well as negotiations on regional integration and trade liberalisation, including on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
The Vietnamese leader also asked partner countries to increase assistance to ASEAN in creating connectivity and narrowing development gaps, including the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration.
Calling for more co-operation in coping with global challenges, he applauded EAS's approval of statements such as the Joint Statement on EAS Guidelines for Rapid Disaster Response and another on Regional Response to the Outbreak of Ebola.
Regarding the East Sea, Dung made it clear that peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation were the concern of regional and non-regional countries.
He also called for the exercise of self-restraint, the avoidance of unilateral actions that escalate situations or alter the status quo in the East Sea, the solving of disputes through peaceful measures, and seriously implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).
During their summit, leaders underlined the importance of the EAS and the central role that ASEAN plays in EAS co-operation and regional structure.
They agreed to reinforce co-operation in such areas as energy, finance, environment, and disaster, education and disease management. The leaders also spoke highly of the Asia-Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance launched by Viet Nam and Australia.
The ninth EAS was attended by the State and Government leaders from the 10 ASEAN countries, Australia, China, India, Japan, Soouth Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
Summits strengthen ties
Also yesterday, PM Dung attended the second ASEAN-US Summit, the 17th ASEAN-China Summit and the 17th ASEAN+3 Summit.
At these summits, leaders of both sides agreed to strengthen co-operation by implementing current action plans efficiently, accelerating economic links, trade and connectivity, narrowing development gaps and responding soundly to emerging challenges.
ASEAN's partners stated that they placed great importance on co-operation with the bloc, pledging continuous assistance to its community building efforts and post-2015 Vision implementation. They also expressed support for ASEAN's central role in building a regional co-operation architecture for the common goals of peace, security and development.
The leaders discussed several regional and international issues of mutual concern, including the East Sea issue.
They affirmed that peace, stability, maritime and aviation safety, security and freedom are in the interest of countries within and outside the region.
PM Dung called on all parties concerned to strictly observe international law and declared that co-operation and prosperity could only happen in an environment where peace, security and stability are secure and strategic trust among nations is reinforced.
Dung appreciated the progress made during recent consultations between ASEAN and China, including commitments to outlining concrete measures and mechanisms to abide by DOC, especially Article 5, including the establishment of a hotline to promote trust-building, prevent incidents and tensions and speed up negotiations for early formulation of the COC.
At the second ASEAN-US Summit, Dung suggested several measures, including increased exchanges between ASEAN economic ministers and the US trade representative, towards creating favorable conditions for the bloc, the US and other partners in negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
The summit adopted a joint statement on co-operation in dealing with climate change.
At the 17th ASEAN-China Summit, both sides reiterated their commitment to intensifying the ASEAN-China strategic partnership.
Speaking at the event, Dung spoke highly of China's backing for ASEAN's central role in the regional evolving architecture and at forums founded by the bloc.
At the 17th ASEAN+3 (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) Summit, the leaders renewed pledges to respond to traditional and emerging non-traditional challenges and underlined the necessity to follow common values and standards as well as legal principles.
The Vietnamese PM proposed efficient and comprehensive implementation of the ASEAN+3 Partnership statement on regional connectivity.
Later yesterday, ASEAN leaders met with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and sought greater contributions from the latter in making policies, speeding up establishment of the ASEAN Community and boosting regional connectivity.
More Japanese aid
Earlier, at the Mekong-Japan Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, PM Dung made several proposals to promote sustainable co-operation in the Mekong River region, including more help from Japan to the Mekong River Commission.
He said that regional connectivity should not be limited to relations between Mekong nations or those belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), but be extended to other regions to help Mekong countries participate more deeply in regional and global value chains.
The Vietnamese leader suggested that Japan help study the possibility of building new multimodal transport routes linking the Southern and East-West Economic Corridors with the Indian subcontinent and South Asia.
He emphasised the need to combine economic development with environmental protection, and called for more assistance from Japan to the Mekong River Commission, especially in conducting studies on the sustainable management and use of Mekong water resources, including assessment of impacts of hydroelectric dams on the Mekong's main stream.
In addition to co-operation at the Governmental level, Mekong-Japan collaboration should be extended to that between the two sides' businesses and localities, he added, naming agriculture, aquaculture and logistics as potential fields for partnership at local levels.
The Vietnamese PM also thanked the Japanese Government for its valuable support for the region and reaffirmed Viet Nam's commitment to Mekong-Japan co-operation for sustainable development, peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
At the event, leaders of Viet Nam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Japan agreed to strengthen Mekong regional connectivity to serve the building of an ASEAN Community by 2015. Attention will be paid to developing economic corridors and new roads linking the Mekong sub-region with the Indian subcontinent.
They reached a consensus on building a "Mekong Industry Development Vision" to speed up the establishment of regional value chains and facilitating business activities between the sub-region and Japan.
The leaders also reaffirmed the vital importance of managing and sustainably developing Mekong water resource and committed to fostering co-operation with local and international organisations in this field.
The summit issued a joint statement and agreed to hold the next summit in Japan in July next year. — VNS