Vietnam highlights significance of ASEAN – US ties
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh shared ASEAN member states’ stance on the significance of the ASEAN – US strategic partnership at the ASEAN – US Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand on August 1.
At the event
The Deputy PM affirmed Vietnam will work closely with other ASEANcountries to push forward ASEAN – US practical ties, especially in trade andinvestment, technological innovation, adaptation with the fourth industrialrevolution, energy and infrastructure.
Expressing concern over complicated developments in the EastSea, he stressed the importance of strengthening trust, exercisingself-restraint and refraining from actions that could complicate the situationand violate sovereignty and legitimate interests of coastal countries.Vietnam’s representative also underlined the need for non-militarisation, nouse of force or threat to use force, and adherence to international law, includingthe 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), towards earlyreaching an effective and practical Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.
Laos’s Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, coordinator ofASEAN – US ties, affirmed that the US and ASEAN will continue reinforcingmutually-beneficial ties for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity in theregion.
Both sides agreed to step up trade, investment, developmentcooperation, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, cooperation at sea,cyber security, the fight against terrorism and extremist violence, goodgovernance, digital connectivity, smart city development, energy, education,people-to-people exchange, and Greater Mekong Sub-region collaboration.
On the East Sea issue, the ministers acknowledged recentprogress in the negotiations for the COC while voicing deep concern aboutdevelopments in the waters including militarization and unilateral acts thatrun counter to international law and undermine trust, thus causing negativeimpacts on peace, stability and security in the region.
The ministers highlighted the importance of fostering trustbuilding, abiding by international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, seriously implementingthe Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards concludingan effective and efficient COC in accordance with international law.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed that the US isalways a friend and trustworthy partner of ASEAN, and supports ASEAN’s effortsto maintain regional peace, security and stability.
He stated that regional countries should raise a firm voiceand not ignore complicated issues.-VNA