English-language daily newspaper Bangkok Post of Thailand ran an article saying that this year marks the half-way point of the grouping's 10-year journey toward the realisation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, which envisaged deeper integration after the agreement to establish the ASEAN Community back in 2015.

It is the ideal time for the bloc to assess their work in achieving those aspirations, it underlined.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the opening ceremony of the 36th ASEAN Summit (Photo: VNA)

“The COVID-19 pandemic as well as the economic slump may force ASEAN leaders to look inwards, focusing on their own crisis, over the grouping's mission. But at the same time, some optimists believe the pandemic gives ASEAN an opportunity to work as a group to escalate cooperation under the human security framework,” noted the article.

Meanwhile, the PBS broadcasting centre highlighted that Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha proposed three paths for actions to advance ASEAN in the post-COVID-19 era at the summit on June 26.

The full speech of Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the opening ceremony of the 36th ASEAN Summit and other related articles were published at the website of the Thai Government’s Public Relations Department.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Dr Balaz Szanto of the International and Strategic Studies Faculty at the Webster University of Thailand underlined that Vietnam is an important member of ASEAN.

The country’s leadership as Chair of ASEAN will influence major issues, including the settlement of territorial disputes at sea and others in the ASEAN agenda, he noted./.