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May 06, 2021 / 22:19

US supports ASEAN in South China Sea issues

The Biden Administration advocates for the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

Washington has affirmed that it continues supporting ASEAN principles in the South China Sea issues, welcoming the bloc’s role in promoting cooperation, dialogue, and confidence building.

 Representatives of ASEAN and US at the meeting on May 6. Photo: VTCNews

Diplomats of 10 ASEAN member states and the US affirmed at the 34th ASEAN-US Dialogue held via videoconference on May 6 to strengthen cooperation in solving the South China Sea issues.

The event marked the participation of US Ambassador Atul Keshap, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and heads of ASEAN Senior Officials, including Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung.

Keshap said the Biden Administration attaches great importance to the strategic partnership with ASEAN, supporting the ASEAN Centrality and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and enhancing the cooperation to cope with challenges, according to the Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Talking about the international and regional situation, ASEAN and the US pledged their commitments to maintaining peace, security and stability in the region, including maritime security and safety in the sea, the world’s vital maritime route.

The US reaffirmed the importance of the substantive implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and effective negotiations of Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) to be suitable with international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

 Vietnam's Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung at the meeting. Photo: VNA

On behalf of ASEAN countries, Nguyen Quoc Dung stressed the need to enhance cooperation, dialogue, confidence building, rule-based approach, and mutual respect in the face of increasing challenges such as epidemics, natural disasters, climate change, competition for natural resources, and sovereignty claims.

At the meeting, the two sides also discussed measures for the Myanmar situation. The US highly appreciates ASEAN’s role in supporting Myanmar.

The ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations have been progressing since its establishment in 1977.

In addition to exchange of views on political and security matters in the early stages of the dialogue relations, both sides also gave priority to practical cooperation in commodities, market and capital access, transfer of technology, development of energy resources, shipping, and food security.

In the early 1990s, the development cooperation between ASEAN and the US was reoriented to focus on trade and investment, technology transfer and human resources development.

ASEAN and the US have sustained their regular engagements at all levels, including the ASEAN-U.S. Summit, the Post Ministerial Conferences (PMCs), the ASEAN-US Dialogue, and the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting.

The US was the first Dialogue Partner to establish a mission to ASEAN in Jakarta in 2010.