Vietnam contributes to united, peaceful, stable, developed ASEAN: Indonesian researcher

Saturday, 29/07/2023 09:45
Veeramalla Anjaiah, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) and senior journalist based in Jakarta, has commended Vietnam’s contributions to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since it joined the ten-member grouping in 1995.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s correspondents in Jakarta, Anjaiah said over the past 28 years since joining ASEAN under the motto of an ‘active and responsible’ member, Vietnam has made several contributions to a united, peaceful, stable, and developed ASEAN that possesses a steady voice in the region.

As the first Indochinese country to join ASEAN, Vietnam “lobbied ASEAN member states to admit both Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia, serving as a bridge between mainland states and island nations to later form a group of 10 member states,” he said.

Veeramalla Anjaiah, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) and senior journalist based in Jakarta. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam has therefore played a key role in defining development goals and directions, along with formulating major decisions within ASEAN. Among them are the ASEAN Vision 2020, the Hanoi Plan of Action, the Vientiane Plan of Action, the 2003 Declaration of ASEAN Concord II, the 2007 ASEAN Charter,  Blueprints for the ASEAN Community, and the ASEAN Integration Initiative (IAI), Anjaiah stressed.

He said Vietnam’s security was integrated with the whole of Southeast Asia. Vietnam also led efforts within ASEAN to ensure regional security. Vietnam signed the Treaty on the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) in 1995 and was a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Vietnam has also helped ASEAN partner with non-regional players — including China, Russia, India and the European Union (EU).

“All these years, Vietnam is effectively working with ASEAN to respond to threats to regional peace, security, and stability, while promoting dialogue and cooperation,” he continued.

Anjaiah held that Vietnam has played a key role in the 2019 ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea with China. It is currently working on negotiations with China as it seeks to build a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

“Vietnam has united with ASEAN at every opportunity, contributing to the grouping’s success. It has been working for greater cooperation for the sake of peace, development and prosperity of the whole region,” he noted.

Vietnam hosted ASEAN Chairmanship in 1998, 2010 and 2020 to boost ASEAN unity and centrality, the researcher said, adding that it also successfully assumed the role of ASEAN coordinator with China from 2009 to 2012, the EU from 2012 to 2015, India from 2015 to 2018, and Japan from 2015 to 2018.

It hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in 2006 and 2017 to promote regional economic cooperation among ASEAN countries with Asia-Pacific economies.

“ASEAN is one of the important foundations for Vietnam to gradually integrate into the world and create a favourable international environment to boost national construction and defence,” he said.  

“All these years, Vietnam has joined ASEAN members in transforming the region into a friendly, cooperative, and war-free part of the world. Along with this, it has established strategic partnerships and comprehensive partnerships with neighbouring countries, major countries, and many other important partners in order to garner wider international support for its security and development interests, including the East Sea.”

He emphasised that Indonesia and Vietnam make up 60% of the ASEAN population and their combined economic strength reaches 45% of the total ASEAN economy. Both can play an important role in ASEAN matters.

“Collaboration and cooperation between Vietnam and Indonesia will make a major contribution to ASEAN, which is committed to fostering its relevance in the midst of global challenges,” he said.

Anjaiah expressed his belief both countries will turn ASEAN into a growth engine with a leading role in regional cooperation and connectivity, contributing to the shared goal of peace, stability and prosperity./.

CPV (Source: VNA)