31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
May 13, 2022 / 15:56

US Congress seeks ASEAN observer status

Vietnam expects further cooperation between the US Congress and AIPA through dialogues for long-term cooperation.

US Congress will seek Observer Status to ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said on May 12 (local time) when she hosted leaders of ASEAN member states who are in the US for the US-ASEAN Special Summit.

  Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, at the luncheon, the Capitol Hill on May 12. Photos: VNA

The move is aimed to “finally formalize the connectivity between the Congress and the ASEAN partners,” Pelosi said during a working lunch.

“In doing so, we will further strengthen the vital ties between our nations,” she said in talks with leaders and Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dato Lim Jock Hoi in the event held at the Capitol.

Pelosi said the two sides discussed “important topics” namely the role of the Indo-Pacific partnership in security and stability in the region and the world, trade, and democratic values. 

In detail, she took maritime and other issues in the South China Sea as an example of security threats. “In order to uphold our shared commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity, we must deliver robust, collective response,” Pelosi emphasized.

In talks at Capitol Hill, US Congressmen and ASEAN leaders discussed measures to boost trade, investment, science and technology, renewable energy, security threats, and people-to-people links, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Appreciating the importance of ASEAN to peace, security, and stability in the region, the US lawmakers affirmed their support for ASEAN’s Centrality.

The US Congressmen suggested that their current efforts should be prioritized to post-pandemic recovery plans that cover trade, investment, infrastructure development, education, human resource, digital transformation, energy, and climate adaptation for long-term and sustainable development in the region.

The US lawmakers also expressed their hope that the two sides would strengthen coordination to promote dialogue and cooperation, effectively respond to and solve regional challenges, and welcome efforts to develop a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).

  Vietnam’s PM Pham Minh Chinh (2nd left) at the working lunch. 

Speaking at the event, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh suggested more exchange of visits between the US Congress and AIPA should be conducted to maintain dialogues, saying that the cooperation would be a solid foundation for a long-term cooperation based on mutual interest.

Chinh welcomed US support to ASEAN’s Centrality, adding that ASEAN encourages US investments in the supply chains and recovery process. He also stressed the importance of cooperation programs including those for inclusive and sustainable growth and narrowing gaps between the bloc’s members.