Viet Nam News
SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said he supports ASEAN-China efforts to develop their connectivity in terms of mutual trust, physical connections and human connections.
PM Phúc made the statement at the 21st ASEAN-China Summit held in Singapore on Wednesday, part of the 33rd ASEAN Summit framework. The event also celebrated 15 years of strategic partnership between the two sides.
Highlighting the importance and benefits of the partnership for both parties and for peace, stability and co-operation in the region, Phúc agreed that ASEAN and China should enhance dialogues and collaboration, as well as build mutual trust and uphold international law, contributing to the formation of codes of conduct for an open, transparent and rule-based regional structure.
The Government leader said the East Sea issue remains complex, causing concern for all sides involved and possible negative impacts on regional stability.
He said ASEAN and China should continue upholding the principles they had agreed upon, which involve boosting dialogues; building mutual trust; respecting international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in the peaceful settlement of disputes; avoiding the militarisation or complication of the situation; developing an effective code of conduct (COC); and implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).
At the summit, ASEAN and Chinese leaders reiterated the importance of their partnership and acknowledged the growth of their ties based on mutual trust, understanding and respect.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang noted ASEAN’s international role and position, highlighting positive co-operation between the bloc and China has laid foundations for the partnership’s expansion.
Li said both sides should strive for stronger economic ties toward the goals of US$1 trillion in bilateral trade and $150 billion in foreign direct investment in 2020.
He urged the sides to focus on upgrading and implementing the ASEAN-China free trade agreement and to support a multilateral trade system of openness, transparency and rule of law.
Li also stated China will continue working with ASEAN in completing the COC within the next three years and in fully implementing the DOC, contributing to peace, stability, safety and free navigation and flyover, and free trade in the East Sea.
PM Phúc and other ASEAN leaders lauded the New Southern Policy of the Republic of Korea (RoK) and efforts by President Moon Jae-in to promote relations with ASEAN.
They made the statement at the 20th ASEAN-RoK Summit, which forms part of the 33rd ASEAN Summit, in Singapore the same day.
The two sides agreed to step up co-operation in fields where they share interests, like sea security, cyber security, science-technology, creativity, natural disaster and climate change response, people-to-people exchange, education and others.
Addressing the event, PM Phúc affirmed Việt Nam’s backing of the RoK’s New Southern Policy to strengthen ties with ASEAN.
He agreed with the view to boost ties in the fields where the RoK has strength and ASEAN has demand, like e-commerce, green technology and scientific renovation.
He spoke of the need to bring in politics and security on a par with the development of the economic and socio-cultural pillars, and increasing cultural and sport exchanges.
RCEP leaders’ meeting
Prime Minister Phúc said the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) needs to foster trade and investment and bring common prosperity to the region.
He made the statement while attending the second Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) leaders’ meeting, part of the 33rd ASEAN Summit.
Addressing the meeting, the Vietnamese PM said the efforts and results of RCEP negotiations in 2018 are incredibly important as global trends towards protectionism and anti-trade liberalisation are emerging.
He pledged that Việt Nam is willing to work with other countries to seek innovative and flexible solutions towards common goals and to boost the building of the RCEP into a comprehensive and high-quality deal to bridge development gaps among members.
At the meeting, leaders of RCEP countries passed a joint statement on RCEP negotiations, lauding the substantial progress that has been made this year to advance the talks, noting that negotiations are in their final stages.
They also reiterated their determination to reach the deal in 2019 and to bolster regional trade development and investment.
Prime Minister Phúc expressed his support for raising relations between ASEAN and Russia to a strategic partnership at the plenary session of the Russia-ASEAN Summit on Wednesday within the framework of the 33rd ASEAN Summit.
He said the two sides should speed up the implementation of a co-operation framework on trade and investment as well as develop initiatives in areas that Russian had strengths and ASEAN needs.
PM Phúc said he wanted Russia to support ASEAN’s stance on ensuring peace and stability in the East Sea, and settling disputes through peaceful means in line with international laws.
Meeting with leaders
PM Phúc met with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Wednesday as part of his working trip to Singapore to attend the 33rd ASEAN Summit.
The Vietnamese Government leader affirmed he is willing to work with Morrison to promote the strategic partnership between the two countries.
PM Phúc suggested that Australia continue to create favourable conditions for Việt Nam’s farm and aquatic products to enter the Australian market.
Morrison agreed with PM Phúc’s suggestions, especially in fostering trade and investment ties between the two sides.
The two leaders agreed to work to boost trade liberalisation and to address issues after the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) comes into force, as well as in accelerating negotiations for the RCEP deal.
On the sidelines of high-level meetings between ASEAN and its partner countries, PM Phúc also had working sessions with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, during which the Vietnamese leader suggested that CPTPP member nations work together to effectively implement the trade pact.
At his meeting with President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, PM Phúc highlighted the enhanced co-operation between the RoK and ASEAN, and applauded the initiative to organise the ASEAN-RoK Summit in 2019 in Korea to celebrate the partnership between the two sides.
Meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence the same day in Singapore, PM Phúc said Việt Nam wants to lift the bilateral partnership to a new height on the basis of mutual respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institutions.
The PM suggested that the two sides increase meetings and exchange of delegations, especially high-level delegations and proposed the two countries facilitate bilateral trade and investment ties.
For his part, Vice President Pence agreed with PM Phúc’s proposals to increase the exchange of high-level delegations and work together to settle each other’s concerns in trade and investment collaboration. — VNS