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ASEAN welcomes U.S. to make practical contributions to peace, stability in East Sea

VGP – ASEAN welcomes the U.S. to make practical contributions to sustaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of aviation and navigation in the East Sea.

November 14, 2020 12:55 PM GMT+7

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs the 8th ASEAN-U.S. Summit, Ha Noi, November 14, 2020 - Photo: VGP/Quang Hieu

The 8th ASEAN-U.S. Summit was held online on November 14 under the chair of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc with the participation of leaders from ASEAN nations, U.S. National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi.

Speaking at the event, PM Phuc noted that ASEAN nations and the US, as the the Pacific countries, have maintained partnership on the basis of trust, mutual respect and understanding for the shared goal of accelerating stability, development and win-win cooperation over the past more than four decades.

The US became a strategic partner of ASEAN since 2015 and its responsible engagement and contributions to the joint efforts in strengthening confidence and cooperation in the region through ASEAN-led mechanisms have always been appreciated, Phuc said.

Phuc also hailed the US as one of the partners that has actively promoted practical initiatives to support regional countries in enhancing capacity to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said ASEAN expects to foster cooperation and collaboration with the international community and partners, including the US in order to promptly and effectively address emerging challenges so as to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for recovery and sustainable development.

The leaders to the 8th ASEAN-US Summit held virtually on November 14, 2020. Photo: VGP

U.S. National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien commended Viet Nam for its proactive role as the ASEAN Chair in coordinating intra- and extra-regional efforts in the year of numerous difficulties, especially the adverse impacts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, affirming the US's commitment to providing financial assistance and medical supplies worth US$87 million for ASEAN nations to contain the pandemic.

O’Brien re-affirmed the U.S.’s commitments to advancing the ASEAN-U.S. strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in the region on the basis of respect for independence, sovereignty and cooperation for mutual benefits as enshrined in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

He reiterated the importance of abiding by the international law and ensuring non-disruption of trade while voicing support for littoral countries to exercise sovereign right over marine resources as provided by the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.   

ASEAN leaders pledged to create favorable conditions for the operation of more than 4,200 U.S. investors and businesses, including 350 leading corporations operating in the region, encouraging American firms to invest in infrastructure, clean energy, high technology and digital economy.

ASEAN expressed gratitude for the US's provision of US$3.5 billion to help ASEAN improve public health capacity over the recent 20 years, suggesting the U.S. soon launch the ASEAN-US Health Futures initiative.

Regarding regional and international situation, the leaders underlined the importance of collective efforts to maintain a peaceful and stable environment in the region and the world, expressing their concerns over potential risks in the East Sea that threaten peace, security and stability.

They also expressed concerns over the actions that go contrary to international law, cause instabilities, and complicate the situation in the East Sea.

The leaders underscored the importance of dialogue, trust building, rule of law, non-militarization, self-restraint, and avoidance of actions that may further complicate the situation, peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of international law, including the UNCLOS 1982.

The US-ASEAN dialogue partnership began in 1977 and the two sides established an enhanced partnership in 2005. The US joined the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in July 2009.

It was one of the first dialogue countries to officially establish a diplomatic mission in ASEAN and send its resident ambassador to the ten-member grouping in 2010.

The ASEAN-US ties was elevated to strategic partnership level at the 3rd ASEAN-US Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in November 2015.

The US is one of the most economic and development partners of ASEAN. Last year, the two-way trade reached US$292 billion, making the US the bloc's second largest trade partner. The US is also the biggest foreign investor with total registered capital of US$330 billion./.

By Thuy Dung