Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc reiterated the clear and consistent stance of Vietnam on the East Sea situation at the 22nd ASEAN-China Summit in Bangkok on November 3, which saw the attendance of ASEAN leaders alongside Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ( fifth from right) attends the 22nd ASEAN-China Summit in Bangkok.
At the summit, the leaders laid stress on the importance of the ASEAN-China strategic partnership for peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region and reiterated efforts to promote dialogues and cooperation as well as building trust and soon finalizing the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
They underlined the need to maintain peace, security, stability, freedom and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea and to refrain from actions that complicate the situation.
They consented to comply with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), properly and fully implement the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and work towards building the East Sea into a region of peace, stability and cooperation.
Participants also hailed the close economic ties between ASEAN and China, with China being the largest trading partner of ASEAN for the past 10 consecutive years and a leading investor of the regional grouping.
ASEAN and Chinese leaders accentuated their commitments to promoting multilateralism, supporting trade-investment liberalisation, and enhancing a rule-based equal multilateral international trading system.
They pledged to contribute to the finalization of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as scheduled.
Under the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030 adopted in 2018, both sides vowed to step up cooperation in the spheres of common interest such as trade and investment exchanges, including the effective implementation of the protocol to revise the ASEAN-China free trade agreement.
The two sides concurred to aim for US$1 trillion in bilateral trade and investment level of US$150 billion by 2020.
They agreed to strengthen connectivity between the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and China’s “one belt, one road” initiative, intensify people-to-people exchange and cooperation in tourism, innovation, e-commerce and digital economy.
In his address PM Phuc said ASEAN always places great importance on the role of China in a bid to maintain peace, security and stability for development cooperation and prosperity in the region.
He voiced support for the designation of 2020 as a digital economic cooperation year between ASEAN and China.
On the East Sea issue, the Vietnamese Government leader affirmed that the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the world’s arterial maritime route is the responsibility of all nations for mutual benefits.
He reiterated the clear and consistent stance of Vietnam on the East Sea situation, which have been shown at numerous forums at various levels.
He urged the concerned parties to redouble efforts at both bilateral and multilateral levels to promote adherence to international law, including the (UNCLOS), as well as prevent the repetition of actions that run counter to international law, while creating a favourable environment for building rules and trust, promoting dialogues, and peacefully settling differences based on international law.
The PM also suggested effectively carrying out the DOC and step up efforts to complete the COC in accordance with international law and with the support from the international community.
At the end of the event, both sides reached a consensus on the approval of three documents, including the ASEAN-China Leaders' Statement on Smart City Cooperation Initiative, the Joint Statement on Strengthening Media Exchanges and Cooperation between ASEAN and China, and the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Synergising the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).