Vietnamese 'Soft Power' - A Driving Force for Development
|United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. Source: baoquocte.vn|
According to VNA, this year has been an exciting time for Vietnam’s external affairs.
It marked the 45th anniversary of Vietnam’s membership of the United Nations (UN), the 60th anniversary of Vietnam-Laos diplomatic ties, and the 55th anniversary of Vietnam-Cambodia relations. Vietnam has taken on important positions at international and regional forums. This year also witnessed numerous visits by Vietnamese leaders to other countries and foreign leaders to Vietnam.
"The United Nations is proud to be a partner of Vietnam," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres during his visit to Vietnam on October 21 marking the 45th anniversary of Vietnam's UN membership, adding that Vietnam is one of the most dynamic and active members of the UN.
President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid emphasised that Vietnam is a model of the UN, which makes significant contributions to consolidating multilateralism and participation in UN affairs.
The trust of the international community in Vietnam has been reflected by the votes cast for important positions at the largest multilateral forum. On June 13, Vietnam was elected as one of the Vice Presidents of the UN General Assembly's 77th session, representing the Asia-Pacific region. On October 11, it was elected to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the second time for the 2023-2025 tenure.
According to Indonesian journalist Veeramalla Anjaiah, who is also a senior researcher from the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), this is a recognition of Vietnam's commitment to respecting and protecting human rights.
UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Pauline Tamesis said Vietnam's election to the council presents both a great responsibility and an important opportunity to redouble efforts in protecting and promoting economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights in line with international human rights standards.
At the regional level, Vietnam continues to promote its role as an important member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Uch Leang, Deputy Director of the Department of Asian, African and Middle-Eastern Studies under the International Relations Institute of Cambodia (IRIC), said Vietnam has always been an active and responsible member of ASEAN and coordinated with Cambodia to contribute to the success of the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and related summits.
After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam's bilateral diplomatic activities have resumed with a series of high-level visits. Vietnamese leaders have made many foreign trips, contributing to promoting bilateral relations and effectively bringing into play the foreign policy of multilateralisation and diversification and the advocation of being friends with all countries.
|Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (L) and Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping. Photo: VNA|
Noteworthy is Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong's official visit to China at the end of October. He was the first foreign leader welcomed by China following the Communist Party of China’s 20th National Congress.
Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo described the visit as a demonstration of the special importance of the relations between the two Parties and countries and sending out a clear message that the two sides will strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and persist the path to socialism.
In December, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid a State-level visit to the Republic of Korea (RoK) at the invitation of RoK President Yoon Suk-yeol. The two sides released a joint statement agreeing to boost joint ties to the level of a strategic comprehensive partnership. They reached important common agreements on major directions and specific measures which aim to foster stronger bilateral relations in accordance with the spirit of the new relationship framework.
During the visit, agencies and businesses of the two sides signed a total of 24 cooperation documents with a total estimated value of about USD 15 billion.
|RoK President Yoon Suk-yeol hosts a State-level welcoming ceremony for Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Seoul. Photo: VGP|
The year 2022 also marked a special milestone in the relationship between Vietnam and its two neighbours, Laos and Cambodia. A range of delegation exchanges at all levels, along with economic and cultural activities, and mutual support at international and regional forums demonstrated that Vietnam and the two neighbouring countries are fostering their good traditions that have been built up over the past time.
Ambassadors of the US, India, Australia have expressed their optimism about relations with Vietnam this year across fields in their remarks for the New Year.
In an over-three-minute video clip sent to the press on the occasion, US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper recalled the amazing results of cooperation across various fields that are testament to the fact that both sides are working strategically together to solve the most pressing issues, noting that he is looking forward to new gains that the sides will achieve together in 2023.
|Secretary of the Phu Yen Party Committee Pham Dai Duong (right) hopes that Indian Ambassador Sandeep Arya (left) will be the bridge to inform the Indian business community and investors about the strategy to attract investment in Phu Yen. Source: Phu Yen newspaper|
Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Sandeep Arya is optimistic about cooperation between the two countries this year, especially in the economic field.
According to the diplomat, flourishing economic collaboration between the countries has been promoted and strengthened with efforts from both sides towards a milestone of USD 15 billion in two-way annual trade turnover.
With their strengths, Vietnam and India absolutely have many opportunities to open up the possibility of effective trade ties in the coming time, serving as a solid basis for lifting their comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights.
The ambassador also expressed his hope that next year, Vietnamese and Indian senior leaders will have high-level exchanges and interactions to further strengthen joint works, especially in the fields of infrastructure development, and digital transformation. Therefore, more businesses of the sides will cooperate, and more extensive commitments will be made in all fields, bringing mutual growth achievements to both countries.
|NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew John Lech Goledzinowski witness the exchange of 12 documents and memoranda of understanding on cooperation in education and training between the two countries’ universities. Photo: VNA|
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew John Lech Goledznowski, for his part, said that Vietnam is a dynamic nation, full of optimism, and one of the fastest growing countries in the region. He expressed his wish to continue building and developing the Vietnam-Australia cooperation relationship, especially in the context that the two will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2023.
He said the past five decades have seen close people-to-people exchanges, and increasingly developed political, strategic, and economic collaboration between the nations, which share many similarities and mutual trust.
Australia wishes to work with Vietnam to maintain stability in the region, contributing to ensuring order and sovereignty of each country based on international law, he affirmed.
He said he wants to give boost to their mutual trust, and stressed the three promising areas for bilateral engagements, namely economy, education and innovation, and strategic cooperation and security issues.
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