Vietnam values partners’ commitments to ASEAN: PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (fourth, left), US President Donald Trump (fifth, left) and other ASEAN leaders at the 5th ASEAN-US Summit in Manila on November 13 (Photo: VNA)

Manila (VNA) – Vietnam always respects ASEAN’s relations with partners and highly values the partners’ commitment to continuing to assist the bloc to build an ASEAN Community and bring into play its central role in the region, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said.

He made the remark while addressing the summit marking the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-US dialogue relationship and the ASEAN+1 summits with China, the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Japan in Manila, the Philippines, on November 13.

In his speeches, he asked the partners to continue enhancing cooperation with ASEAN, especially in the prioritised fields and the fields that can capitalise on each party’s advantages.

Sharing Vietnam’s viewpoints on regional and international issues of common interest, he shared the concern about the Korean Peninsula situation and called for serious implementation of the relevant resolutions issued by the UN Security Council. 

He reiterated Vietnam’s consistent stance of supporting the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, adding that Vietnam is ready to join other ASEAN countries in common efforts for peace, stability and development in the region.

Regarding the East Sea, PM Phuc echoed ASEAN countries and the partners’ viewpoint on recent complicated developments that can jeopardize peace, security and stability in the East Sea.

He underlined that Vietnam wants the partners to continue constructive contributions to maintaining peace, stability, security and safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight over the East Sea. They should urge relevant parties to exercise self-restraint, refrain from actions that may complicate the situation, not use or threaten to use force, resolve disputes by peaceful measures on the basis on international law, abide by international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and fully respect diplomatic and legal processes. 

They should also support ASEAN and China to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon finalise a substantive and legally binding Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC), he added.

At the 5th ASEAN-US Summit, the two sides shared views on the situation of the East Sea and the Korean Peninsula, along with the fight against terrorism and extremism.

The ASEAN and US leaders agreed to orient ASEAN-US relations towards high technology-related fields so as to help ASEAN countries improve their capacity of developing micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and promoting startup and digital economy.

They also vowed to strengthen ties various cultural and social spheres, especially youth-related cooperation through the US’s initiatives such as the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, the Fulbright ASEAN Research Programme and the ASEAN-US Science and Technology Fellows Programme.

PM Phuc welcomed US President Donald Trump’s participation in a first ASEAN summit since Trump took office and lauded ASEAN-US cooperation outcomes in recent years. He applauded the Trump administration’s commitments to ASEAN and the region and its support for ASEAN to promote the bloc’s central role, successfully build an ASEAN Community, and realise the target of maintaining peace, security and stability in the region.

He also called on both sides to reinforce economic ties, especially digital and creative economy, amid the fourth Industrial Revolution in order to achieve the sustainable and inclusive development target of the region and the world.

[PM highlights key cooperation areas at 31st ASEAN Summit]

At the 20th ASEAN-China Summit, the ASEAN and Chinese leaders approved a statement on enhancing cooperation in infrastructure connection and another statement on tourism cooperation.

They officially announced the launch of consultation and negotiations on the content of a COC and considered this an important foundation helping to maintain peace in the East Sea. They also reiterated the serious and full implementation of the DOC and adherence to international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

On this occasion, the leaders of ASEAN and China passed a statement on the decade of marine and coastal environmental protection in the East Sea which aims to ensure social welfare and improve livelihoods helping people in the region to cope with impacts of climate change and environmental pollution.

PM Phuc hailed ASEAN and China’s approval of a COC framework and asked both sides to soon carry out substantive negotiations to build a feasible and legally binding COC.

He voiced his support for China’s proposal of building an ASEAN-China strategic partnership vision towards 2030. He also agreed with the countries’ choosing of “creativity” as the theme of ASEAN-China cooperation in 2018. He expressed his belief that with this theme, bilateral cooperation will be fostered in a dynamic and creative manner to improve ASEAN businesses’ capacity of integrating and engaging in global supply chains.

At the 19th ASEAN-RoK Summit, RoK President Moon Jae-in renewed his country’s commitment to supporting ASEAN’s central role in an evolving regional architecture. The two sides agreed to increase cooperation in such spheres as sustainable development, poverty elimination, green growth, economy-trade, promoting MSMEs’ development, e-commerce, people-to-people exchange, narrowing development gap, and improving cyber security-related capacity.

Addressing this summit, PM Phuc stressed that ASEAN need to give the top priority to economic partnership, particularly supporting capacity building, transferring technology, and sharing management experience serving the development of MSMEs.

At the 20th ASEAN-Japan Summit, the two sides’ leaders underscored common efforts to deal with challenges to regional peace, security and stability, including the East Sea and Korean Peninsula issues. The ASEAN and Japanese leaders agreed to bolster ties in combating terrorism, piracy and cybercrime while ensuring security at sea through activities to build capacity and share intelligence.

PM Phuc asked the two sides to step up activities of the ASEAN-Japan creative network, further connect ASEAN and Japanese businesses, and boosting cooperation in the areas of high technology and artificial intelligence. He also affirmed that Vietnam will actively coordinate with other ASEAN countries and Japan to effectively carry out their cooperation plans when it is the coordinator of ASEAN-Japan relations for 2018-2021.-VNA