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Jul 14, 2021 / 21:49

Blinken urges ASEAN to take action on Myanmar

Vietnam says it is ready to facilitate US businesses in their investment in the regional countries.

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken called on ASEAN to take joint action on Myanmar at the Special ASEAN-US Foreign Ministerial Meeting held virtually on July 14.

 Representatives at the Special ASEAN-US Foreign Ministerial Meeting on July 14. Photos: Tuan Anh/ Baoquocte

He said that ASEAN’s five-point consensus is an important step forward for “the end of violence, the restoration of Burma’s democratic transition, and the release of all those unjustly detained.”

To that effort, he expected that the 10-member bloc will appoint a special envoy for the issues, according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

Blinken was reported to express “deep concerns” about the military coup in Myanmar, recalling the principles of the ASEAN Charter relating to the rule of law, good governance, democracy, and human rights.

Sharing the same idea, Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son supported ASEAN’s efforts in seeking solutions for stability in Myanmar.

 Vietnam's Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son at the meeting.

At the meeting, Son also affirmed that ASEAN member states and Vietnam are ready to facilitate US businesses in their investment in the regional countries in the context of shifting trade and investment flows due to Covid-19.

He hoped the US would actively support ASEAN in narrowing the development gap, promoting sustainable development in sub-regions, and strengthening the Mekong-US partnership.

Son suggested the US continue to coordinate with ASEAN at forums established and led by ASEAN, thereby creating a favorable environment for the process of forming a rules-based regional order.

At the Special ASEAN-US Foreign Ministerial Meeting, Blinken reaffirmed the US commitment to ASEAN centrality and underscored ASEAN’s essential role in the Indo-Pacific’s regional architecture.

He and his ASEAN foreign ministers pledged to continue building the ASEAN-US strategic partnership based on human rights and fundamental freedoms, economic prosperity, and strong people-to-people ties.

The US secretary stressed the US commitment to working with ASEAN and international partners to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. He also emphasized the importance of taking bold action to address the climate crisis.

He underscored the US rejection of China’s unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea and reiterated that the US stands with Southeast Asian claimants in the face of China’s coercion. He pledged continued US support for a free and open Mekong region under the Mekong-US Partnership.