Vietnam Calls For Boosting Cooperation Between ASEAN and China in South China Sea Issue
|ASEAN Ministers discuss key important issues during their virtually held meeting on October 4. (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs).|
ASEAN Foreign Ministers met virtually on October 4 to review the ASEAN Community building process, the bloc’s cooperation with its dialogue partners, the South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea in Vietnamese) issue, and a number of issues of mutual concern. At the meeting, the Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son suggests ASEAN enhance coordination between sectors and pillars, and its response capacity to such challenges as Covid-19, climate change and maritime issues.
Vietnam has played an active role in realizing ASEAN’s priorities in 2021, and will closely coordinate with other countries to make the upcoming meetings a success, Son said, according to VNA.
For the pandemic fight, Vietnam suggests ASEAN improve its self-reliance in vaccines by building a regional supply chain, he said, stressing that Vietnam will joint efforts to accelerate the establishment and operation of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED). On this occasion, the minister announced the organization of the ASEAN forum on sub-regional cooperation towards sustainable development and inclusive growth in Hanoi on November 30.
Pointing out challenges to ASEAN and the region, Son said ASEAN should keep a close watch on developments, and maintain solidarity and self-resilience, as well as its centrality and independence. At the same time, ASEAN should maintain a harmonious approach that keeps its stance and principles towards issues affecting regional peace and security, while encouraging its partners to actively engage in ASEAN-led mechanisms.
Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son highly appreciated Brunei’s role as ASEAN Chairman in maintaining regional cooperation during this difficult period. He affirmed that Vietnam has actively participated in implementing the priority issues for 2021 and will work closely with the host to ensure the success of the upcoming Summits.
|Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (Photo: Communist Party Online Newspaper)|
ASEAN ministers agreed to continue to encourage ASEAN’s partners to make constructive contributions to the common goal of peace, security, and stability in the region, support ASEAN’s central role, and get involved in regional cooperation through ASEAN-led mechanisms, in order to build an open, inclusive, transparent and international law-based regional architecture.
They discussed and agreed on the mode of cooperation between ASEAN and the United Kingdom, the latest ASEAN dialogue partner. The two sides will then establish a joint committee to strengthen cooperation through meetings of their senior officials and Foreign Ministers, with Brunei working as the coordinator of the ASEAN - UK relations in the 2021- 2024 period, according to VOV.
Exchanging views on the situation in Myanmar, the ministers agreed to step up humanitarian support for the country in the face of the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. They welcomed the September 15 delivery of the first humanitarian assistance package including medical equipment worth US$1.1 million and requested that Myanmar facilitate the ASEAN Special Envoy’s activities, aimed at promoting dialogue and finding peaceful solutions to the situation.
On the South China Sea issue, the ministers emphasized the need to promote a sense of responsibility, have a common voice in issues related to regional peace, security, and stability in the region, and enhance confidence-building measures in order to settle disputes by peaceful means, in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Minister Son reaffirmed the importance of promoting trust, exercising restraint, and peacefully settling disputes in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS. ASEAN should continue to closely coordinate with China to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the formulation of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in line with international law, he said.
The 24th ASEAN Political-Security Community Council (APSC) Meeting, the 30th ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) Meeting and the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) took place virtually under the chair of Brunei, the current ASEAN Chair. At the 30th meeting of the ACC, ASEAN countries agreed to use 10.5 million USD from the Covid-19 fund to buy vaccines, striving to deliver the first batch of vaccines for the countries in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2022.
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