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Vietnam hopes US will support ASEAN in Bien Dong Sea issues

Rosemary Nguyen Rosemary Nguyen

khanhduong.vns@gmail.com

May 07, 2021 | 11:07

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung voiced a hope that the US will continue to play a constructive role and back ASEAN’s efforts in building the Bien Dong Sea (internationally known as South China Sea) into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.

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Photo vtcnews
Diplomats of 10 ASEAN member states and the US affirmed at the 34th ASEAN-US Dialogue held via videoconference on May 6 to strengthen cooperation in solving the South China Sea issues. Photo vtcnews

Dung made the statement while attending the 34th ASEAN-US Dialogue held in the form of videoconference on May 6 along with diplomats of 10 ASEAN member states and the US.

The event marked the participation of US Ambassador Atul Keshap, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and heads of ASEAN Senior Officials.

At the meeting, the ASEAN and the US affirmed to closely coordinate to contribute to maintaining peace, safety and stability in the region, including maritime security and safety in the East Sea, which is among major shipping routes of the world with potential risks and complicated developments.

Speaking on behalf of ASEAN states, the Vietnamese official emphasised that amid increasing challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, climate change, competition for natural resources and sovereignty claims, countries need to bolster cooperation and dialogue, build trust and the rule of law, as well as uphold the sense of responsibility, behave according to standards and respect each other to ensure an environment of peace and stability for development.

Photo vietnamnet
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung attends the event via videoconference on May 6. Photo vietnamnet

Highlighting efforts by ASEAN and the US in addressing challenges to regional stability and development, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Vietnam said ASEAN and the US should strengthen coordination to ensure peace, security and prosperous development in the region through ASEAN-led mechanisms, promote a rules-based regional order and adherence to international laws, and resolve disputes in a peaceful manner.

US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Atul Keshap said the Biden Administration attaches great importance to the strategic partnership with ASEAN, supporting the ASEAN Centrality and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and enhancing the cooperation to cope with challenges, according to the Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The US reaffirmed the importance of the substantive implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and effective negotiations of Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) to be suitable with international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The US underlined its support for ASEAN’s principled stance on the East Sea issue; welcomed the bloc to perform its role in promoting cooperation, dialogues, and trust building; ensuring the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the building of an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

ASEAN countries spoke highly of the US’s contributions to cooperation, development, peace and stability in the region. They appreciated an aid worth 112 million USD from the US to help the organisation cope with COVID-19.

The two sides agreed to foster collaboration in trade-investment, human resources development, renewable energy, marine cooperation, response to natural disasters and climate change through the US's development cooperation programmes such as the Partnership for Regional Optimisation within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities (PROSPECT), the Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade and E-Commerce (IGNITE), and in development gap reduction via the Mekong-US Partnership.

At the meeting, the two sides also discussed measures for the Myanmar situation. The US highly appreciates ASEAN’s role in supporting Myanmar./.

The ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations have been progressing since its establishment in 1977.

In addition to exchange of views on political and security matters in the early stages of the dialogue relations, both sides also gave priority to practical cooperation in commodities, market and capital access, transfer of technology, development of energy resources, shipping, and food security.

In the early 1990s, the development cooperation between ASEAN and the US was reoriented to focus on trade and investment, technology transfer and human resources development.

ASEAN and the US have sustained their regular engagements at all levels, including the ASEAN-U.S. Summit, the Post Ministerial Conferences (PMCs), the ASEAN-US Dialogue, and the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting.

The US was the first Dialogue Partner to establish a mission to ASEAN in Jakarta in 2010.

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