Canadian expert hails Vietnamese initiatives in ASEAN31/07/2023 52
Vietnam has made an important contribution to the operation of ASEAN through initiatives aimed at dealing with challenges and issues occurring in the bloc, such as responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerating the negotiation process for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), and advocating the five-point consensus on Myanmar.
This assessment was made by Jonathan Berkshire Miller, director of Foreign Affairs of National Security and Defence at the Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute, who is an expert on international affairs related to security, defence, and geoeconomics in the Indo-Pacific region.
According to Miller, cohesion is a vital part of all areas in ASEAN, meaning the Vietnamese approach to maintaining cohesion on issues such as the COC is very important.
He went on to stress the need for proactivity in the bloc in order to respond to a potential crisis in the future. The nation, especially during the pandemic, has taken significant proactive measures, he said in a recent media interview given on the occasion of Vietnam's 28th anniversary of ASEAN membership, with the country joining the bloc in 1995.
The Canadian expert added that the nation has made important contributions to building the three pillars of the ASEAN Community, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).
Regarding APSC, the country calls for appropriate behaviour on the East Sea issue, with responses and actions from ASEAN to achieve the goal of ensuring the security and resources of the region as a whole. According to Miller, it is essential to have a fair share and respect for international laws, as well as freedom of navigation. Through this initiative, Vietnam is also trying to promote serious political dialogues in Myanmar, he noted.
With regard to the economic pillar, the nation is currently part of many regional trade agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The leading Vietnamese role is not limited to just a few of these issues, but is also motivating other ASEAN members to implement certain reforms in a bid to lift their economy to a higher level, he went on.
Regarding ASCC, Miller underlined the nation’s respect for different ethnic minority groups and different languages in the same country, saying that the way the country handles harmony between various ethnic groups and highlights cultural diversity is really a positive aspect of the nation’s functionality.