ASEAN boosts cooperation with China, Japan & RoK
08:06 | 10/09/2020

VGP - Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh attended the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting held online within the framework of the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 53) and related meetings; co-chaired the 21st ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting; and participated in the ASEAN-RoK Ministerial Meeting. 

 Photo: VGP

In the discussions, the ministers of China, Japan and the RoK expressed their desire for strengthening the cooperation among the sides, their high valuation of the ASEAN’s effective response to the COVID-19, and readiness to support ASEAN’s initiatives in the pandemic fight.

At the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting, the ASEAN ministers affirmed that the strategic partnership between ASEAN and China has brought about practical interests to both sides. 

China is a comprehensive partner of ASEAN in all fields in community pillars. China is also the largest trade partner of ASEAN and has the biggest number of arrivals to ASEAN. ASEAN highly valued the cooperation and support of China in the fight against the pandemic, suggesting China positively engage in ASEAN’s initiatives including the ASEAN Fund for COVID-19 Response, the regional emergency reserve of medical supplies. 

The two sides agreed to boost cooperation in such priority areas as digital economic development, cyber security, natural disaster response, people-to-people exchange and maritime collaboration, while pushing ahead with the building of the ASEAN-China action plan for 2021-2025.

At the 21st ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Deputy PM Minh said it is time for the ASEAN+3 mechanism to prove its value and capacity in the pandemic combat, and suggested China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) continue their coordination with ASEAN in this regard, towards sustainable regional recovery.

The ministers reached an agreement to continue implementing the resolutions adopted by leaders at the Special ASEAN+3 Summit on COVID-19, and committed to enhancing cooperation in food security via the ASEAN+3 Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR), digital transformation, regional financial and economic stability through the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) Agreement, and health care.

They were also agreed to early finalize the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

At the ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting, Deputy PM Minh called on Japan to continue its support to and engagement in ASEAN’s initiatives relating to COVID-19 and soon help with the establishment of the ASEAN center for public health emergencies and emerging diseases in 2020.  

The Deputy PM also recommended the two sides optimize the ASEAN-Japan Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

At the ASEAN-RoK Ministerial Meeting, the two sides agreed to beef up cooperation to consolidate the strategic partnership.

ASEAN hailed the RoK for its support in the pandemic combat and called on the country to assist the grouping in digital transformation, the application of new technologies and tapping opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

On this occasion, the ministers approved the action plan between ASEAN and the RoK for 2021-2025. 

Regarding regional and international situation, the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and partner countries exchanged ideas on issue of common concern like the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Rakhine state and the East Sea. 

They stressed the need for close coordination, strengthened dialogues and cooperation on the basis of upholding the rule of the law and common standards. They shared a joint viewpoint on maintaining peace, stability, safety and security, freedom of navigation and aviation in the region, including the East Sea; and stressed the importance of settling the disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of international law.

Addressing the meetings, Minh affirmed that as the Chair of the ASEAN 2020, Viet Nam will, together with other ASEAN members, actively work out measures and policies to further deepen the relations of strategic cooperation with the partners. 

The Deputy PM asked the partner countries to continue supporting ASEAN in the building of the Community, and proposed to intensify the cooperation among the sides in the research and production of vaccines and medicines against COVID-19.

Regarding international and regional situations, Mr. Minh expressed his concerns on the complicated development in the East Sea while states are focusing their efforts against the pandemic. Legitimate rights and interests of the sides must be ensured, and differences and disputes settled on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. 

The official asked the sides to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and to soon resume the negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Repeating ASEAN’s stance on the East Sea at the 36th ASEAN Summit in June 2020, Mr. Minh called on the sides to intensify the building of trust and mutual trust, and to prevent the acts that complicate the situation and affect peace and stability./.

By Kim Loan  

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