The US has intensified its interactions with ASEAN this year partly because Vietnam has been assuming ASEAN 2020 Chairmanship, said Prof. Pankaj Jha from India’s O.P. Jindal Global University in his article published recently on modernpolicy.eu.
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi on October 30, 2020. (Photo: US Department of State)
According to the professor, during the 33rd US-ASEAN Dialogue, held in Washington DC on August 4, it was expressed that the US-ASEAN strategic partnership was important for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
The United States has buttressed the need for clear and transparent rules based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and commitment to the 2016 arbitration tribunal ruling.
Under the chairmanship of Vietnam, ASEAN has been able to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the US has expressed faith in ASEAN resilience against unsustainable debt. The US had declared more than 87 million USD for providing emergency health, medicines and assistance to combat the coronavirus in Southeast Asia.
One of the achievements in the year 2020 has been the US-ASEAN smart cities partnership which would promote better understanding on transportation, connectivity and water management in selected cities in the region. The IT alliance programme between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and 11 Vietnamese universities would help modernise Vietnamese technology and engineering institutes and promote Vietnam as an emerging regional technological hub.
It seems that the year 2020 has been a milestone year for developing better relationships between the US and Vietnam and also involving US in ASEAN activities. The number of projects as well as assistance programmes that the US has announced in the year 2020 clearly outlines the fact that the global power would look into this region with more focus, particularly in the emerging geopolitical challenges and the tensions in East Sea, the article said./.VNA