This was evident from the just-concluded 36th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi on June 26th, where Vietnam demonstrated its mettle as a 25-year-old member of the regional bloc.
The newspaper quoted a Vietnamese diplomat as saying that Vietnam had not only hosted a historic summit during the challenging times, but successfully lived up to the summit's theme of “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN”.
"The summit brought ASEAN members together towards achieving a progressive regional comprehensive economic recovery plan post-COVID-19.
"Vietnam shared its precious 25 years experiences as an ASEAN member in containing and combatting the pandemic with other members, representing a coordinated effort to ensure global and regional resilience and sustainability," said the official.
The official pointed out that Vietnam had made significant contributions to ASEAN since joining the fold on July 28, 1995, in terms of ensuring regional peace and stability, promoting intra-bloc cooperation and providing more opportunities for investment and economic growth.
And over the past decades, Vietnam had emerged as an active and responsible member, wielding enormous influence upon ASEAN's structure, while contributing to maintaining unity, peace and security in the region.
Meanwhile, Professor Tran Viet Thai from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam said that its priorities included support for a sound regional security architecture, according to the article.
At the ASEAN Leaders' Interface with Representatives of ASEAN Business Advisory Council within 36th ASEAN Summit (Photo: VNA)
"This can be achieved by helping ASEAN to be united, to maintain its centrality in facing so many packs of wolves, and in handling the pull-and-push of major powers in the region," said Tran, who is deputy director-general and director of the Centre for Regional and Foreign Policy Studies, at the academy's Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies.
He added that Vietnam, which occupied an increasingly important geo-political and geo-strategic location, was considered a bridge between the mainland and insular Southeast Asia.
The article said among Vietnam's milestones were in successfully organising the 6th ASEAN Summit in 1998, just three years after becoming a bloc member.
The “Hanoi Action Programme” at the summit helped maintain cooperation and strengthen ASEAN's position during the challenging times of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.
Vietnam also achieved successes as the Chair of the ASEAN Standing Committee in 2001 and ASEAN Chair in 2010. Both positions helped promote the enforcement culture and towards a great leap forward in establishing an ASEAN Community by 2015, thus, enhancing the bloc's international role and position.
Other achievements are Vietnam's constant support for the expansion of ASEAN's cooperation with the East Asia high-level cooperation mechanism with the participation of Russia and the United States, the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting and for ASEAN to be represented at the G20 Summit.
Then there are the "Vision 2020 and implementation plans", "ASEAN Declaration 2", "ASEAN Charter", "Roadmap for the ASEAN Community Development (2009-2015)", "Initiative for ASEAN Integration" and the "ASEAN Master Plan and Connection".
The article cited Vietnam's former Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan as saying that his country had actively participated and played a dynamic role in promoting intra-bloc cooperation as well as ASEAN's cooperation with other partners./.