Nov 11, 2021 / 11:03

ADMM promotes trust among ASEAN members, Hanoi says

The South China Sea issues have been high on the regional agendas, in discussions, and in joint statements of regional defense ministers since 2011.

Vietnam’s Defense Minister, General Phan Van Giang, stated that the ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting (ADMM) has contributed to enhancing trust and building common concepts on regional security issues, including the East Sea (referred internationally to as the South China Sea) issues over the past 15 years.

General Phan Van Giang, Vietnam’s Defense Minister, at the event on Nov 10. Photo: VNA 

Established in 2006, the ADMM has promoted regional peace and stability through dialogue and cooperation, Giang said at the ADMM Retreat, a special side-gathering for defense ministers, held via videoconference on Nov 10.

Since the ADMM held in 2011 in Indonesia, the South China Sea issues have been high on the regional agendas, in discussions, and in joint statements of ADMMs, he said.

Regarding challenges facing the ASEAN Centrality in dealing with its partners, Giang said ADMM needs to balance its common interests both in and outside the bloc to meet requirements of partners in and outside ADMM Plus (including 10 ASEAN member states and its eight Dialogue Partners: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, and the US).

Giang reaffirmed that ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight is for the sake of all countries. Therefore, it requires ASEAN’s consistent stance on the South China Sea issues with a rule-based approach to address conflicts in a peaceful manner in accordance with international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

At the ADMM Retreat, Cambodia took the chairmanship of the ADMM 2022. Speaking at the event, Cambodian Minister of National Defense Tea Banh said that as the chair of ASEAN and the host of the ADMM in 2022, Cambodia would show a firm commitment to strengthening peace, stability, and regional prosperity efforts by upholding Hun Sen’s “win-win” principle for the resolution of all disputes.

“ASEAN must unite to maintain its resilience and strength in the face of pressure and influence resulting from increased geopolitical competition, transnational crime, terrorism, climate change, and disease,” the Phnom Penh Post quoted Tea Banh. “Doing so will ensure that we continue to move towards peace, security, and sustainable prosperity.”

He said Cambodia will also focus on strengthening ASEAN’s core role regionally and the bloc’s unity by enhancing international communication mechanisms within the region and with key external partners.

Tea Banh said that all of Cambodia’s initiatives as ASEAN chair will be based on the principles set out in the ASEAN charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia along with the ASEAN Vision for the Indo-Pacific policy.

The ADMM is the highest defense consultative and cooperative mechanism in ASEAN, promoting regional peace and stability through dialogue and cooperation in defense and security; giving guidance to existing senior defense and military officials dialogue and cooperation in the field of defense and security within ASEAN and between ASEAN and dialogue partners.

It promotes mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defense and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness; and contributes to the establishment of an ASEAN Security Community (ASC).