On November 4th, 2019, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received the ASEAN Chairman hammer from Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chanocha. (Photo: ASEAN Secretariat)
Foreign Policy on July 31st posted the article “Vietnam steps up to take ASEAN leadership role", in which it said that Vietnam “has already proved on multiple occasions its ability to host important regional forums and even high-level meetings of global importance, such as the highly challenging U.S.-DPRK Summit in Hanoi last year—a remarkable makeover, given its relatively recent diplomatic isolation from which it only broke out with normalization of relations with the United States and joining ASEAN in the mid-1990s.”
It clearly noted: “Vietnam’s thus far impressive response to COVID-19 has earned further respect and recognition from its neighbors, including much wealthier and more developed ones, like Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.”
According to the article, “economists from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Asian Development Bank predict that Vietnam has the highest chances in the region to come out of the post-coronavirus economic crisis in a relatively better shape.” Therefore, it confirmed “this is a significant shift in Vietnam’s position in ASEAN, which, as a latecomer to the market economy, used to be labeled among the 'second-tier' economies.”
Regarding diplomatic factors, the article asserted that Vietnam “has also been taking up a more pivotal role.” “Hanoi’s leadership attaches strong importance to ASEAN norms and maintains a consistent foreign policy and has stepped up to socialize these norms to the other newer members.”
“Given the crisis enveloping the world, the main objective of Vietnam’s 2020 chairmanship is to preserve ASEAN’s unity and solidarity and prevent further erosion. The high expectations from the other ASEAN members and dialogue partners reflect a level of confidence in Vietnam’s diplomatic capability,” it asserted./.