Vietnam will actively work with other ASEAN member states to expand and deepen practical and effective cooperative relations between the bloc and its partners in different fields, said Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh
Minh made the assertion at ministerial meetingsbetween ASEAN and its partners - Australia, India, the European Union (EU), theRepublic of Korea, and Canada - within the framework of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-52) and related meetings in Bangkok,Thailand, on August 1.
Regarding the international and regionalsituations, the Deputy PM expressed his concern over complicated developmentsin the East Sea, including ongoing militarisation activities and unilateralactions against international law and the spirit of the Declaration on theConduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), which have undermined trust and causednegative impacts on peace, security and stability in the region.
Minh reiterated the ASEAN’s principled stance, underwhich he emphasised the importance of increasing trust, not militarising,restraining and not using or threatening to use force as well as strictlyabiding by international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention onthe Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and seriously and fully implementing the DOC andsoon completing an effective and practical Code of Conduct in the East Sea(COC) in accordance with international law.
Atthe ASEAN-Australia Ministerial Meeting, both sides agreed to step upcooperation priorities such as implementing the ASEAN-AustraliaCounter-Trafficking Initiative (2018-2028), intensifying cooperation in marinesecurity, counterterrorism and fighting cross-border crimes, promoting andprotecting the rights of women and children, boosting partnership in educationand training, and developing high-quality human resources.
Theyaffirmed to maintain efforts towards the upgrading of the ASEAN-Australia-NewZealand Free Trade Agreement (AAZFTA) to facilitate the development of micro-,small- and medium-sized enterprises, expand investment and strengthen sub-regionalconnectivity and cooperation.
Onthis occasion, the ministers approved the ASEAN-Australia Plan of Action forthe 2020-2024 period.
Atthe ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting, the ministers were unanimous in fosteringcollaboration in marine affairs and blue economy, information technology,health, pharmaceuticals, human resources training, connectivity andinfrastructure, including a plan to connect expressways from the ASEANcountries to India.
TheIndian Foreign Minister shared views on several shortcomings in negotiations,affirming that India will work with the ASEAN countries to soon finishnegotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Theofficial also spoke highly of Vietnam’s contributions to boosting ties betweenthe two sides in its capacity as the coordinator for ASEAN-India relations inthe 2015-2018 period.
Atthe ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, the two sides agreed that ASEAN and the EUare the most successful regional organisations which lead the world in boostingregional connectivity, multilateral cooperation and trade-investmentliberalisation.
At the ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting
Theministers affirmed efforts to early upgrade the ASEAN-EU relationship to strategicpartnership, and agreed to intensify collaboration in cyber security, bordermanagement, combating trans-national crimes and terrorism, marine security,climate change adaptation, environmental protection and sustainabledevelopment.
Bothsides acknowledged the EU’s ratification of a free trade agreement (FTA) withSingapore and its signing of another FTA with Vietnam, considering them asimportant steps towards the building of an FTA between the two blocs in the future.
Atthe ASEAN-Republic of Korea Ministerial Meeting, ASEAN member states welcomedthe RoK’s efforts to carry out its New Southern Policy in order to intensifycooperation with the ASEAN in “three Ps” – Peace, Prosperity and People.
Thetwo sides reached consensus on continuing to step up cooperation in economy,trade and investment; strengthening business connectivity; developing micro-,small- and medium-sized enterprises; developing digital economy, e-commerce andsmart cities.
TheASEAN welcomed the RoK’s proposal to boost cooperation in highly skilledlabour, and expand scholarship and vocational training programmes for thebloc’s member states.
Bothsides agreed to early finalise an ASEAN-RoK Air Service Agreement, work toincrease the number of tourists to 15 million by 2020, and coordinate closelyto organise the Commemorative Summit to mark 30 years of ASEAN-RoK relations inBusan in late 2019.
At the ASEAN-Canada Ministerial Meeting, thetwo sides agreed to boost cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremeviolence and cross-border crimes, expanding trade-investment, connectivity,science-technology, renovation, protecting the environment, coping with naturaldisasters and climate change, training human resources, and increasing thenumber of tourists between the two sides.
They also pledged to reinforce an equal andrule-based multilateral trade system, enhance dialogue mechanisms on tradebetween ASEAN and Canada, and closely coordinate together within the frameworksof the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum and the Comprehensive andProgressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Within the framework of the AMM-52 and related meetings,Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh had a meeting with Chinese State Councillor andForeign Minister Wang Yi, during which he said Vietnam attaches importance tothe neighbourliness with China.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) meets withChinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi
Minh affirmed Vietnam’s principled standpoint onthe current maritime issues, saying that the two sides need to make efforts tomaintain peace, stability and good control of disputes and not have actionsthat complicate the situation, and resolve satisfactorily disputes in the EastSea through peaceful measures on the basis of seriously obeying internationallaw, including the UNCLOS 1982.
Wang said the Chinese Party and Governmenttreasure ties with Vietnam and will spare no effort to maintain friendlyrelations between the two countries. He agreed to exchange views to addresssatisfactorily arising issues in the bilateral relationship.
The same day, Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minhhad bilateral meetings with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, USSecretary of State Mike Pompeo, Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, NewZealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters, and British Foreign Secretary DominicRaab to exchange measures to boost bilateral relations and discussed someregional and global issues of mutual concern.-VNA