Jan 17, 2020 / 08:50

US senators congratulate Vietnam on assuming ASEAN Chair

The Hanoitimes - Leading the 10-nation bloc in 2020 with the theme of “Cohesive and Responsive”, Vietnam has identified 5 key priorities.

Four US senators have congratulated Vietnam on assuming the Chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific.

 ASEAN leaders shake hands at the Opening Ceremony of the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2019.

The senators, Jim Risch and Cory Gardner of the Republican Party, Bob Menendez – chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – and Ed Markey of the Democratic Party – chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy – issued the congratulation message in a statement on January 15.

They also thanked Thailand for its effective stewardship in 2019.

“We look forward to a fruitful year of collaboration that leads to concrete progress on the most critical issues for ASEAN members and the entire Indo-Pacific region. The time is ripe to realize the ASEAN Economic Community, build capacity in the industries of the future, and posture ASEAN as a driver of regional economic growth.

ASEAN members, including Vietnam, have demonstrated a willingness to stand up for freedom of navigation and international law in the South China Sea. We look forward to Vietnam exercising this type of leadership and cooperating with its ASEAN partners on these issues in the coming year, especially as ASEAN and China negotiate a Code of Conduct,” read the statement.

“ASEAN is an important partner to the United States. In the coming year, we are committed to deepening this relationship, starting with the US-ASEAN summit. We also look forward to supporting the many promising US-ASEAN initiatives underway, including those authorized by the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act,” it added.

Vietnam first chaired ASEAN in 2010, leaving imprints in a wide range of issues that are still priorities today, including human resources, climate change, and social wellbeing for women and children.

Leading the 10-nation bloc in 2020 with the theme of “Cohesive and Responsive”, Vietnam has identified 5 key priorities. They are (i) to advance ASEAN’s active role and contribution to the maintenance of the regional peace, security and stability; to promote regional connectivity and integration, heighten our responsiveness and harness opportunities arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution; (iii) to foster the ASEAN sense of community and identity; (iv) to advance partnerships for peace and sustainable development; and (v) to improve the responsiveness and operational effectiveness of ASEAN organs.