10/05/2023 - 10:15

Indonesian journalist highlights Vietnam’s role in ASEAN’s unity, peace, stability 

ASEAN Foreign Ministers, Foreign Minister of Timor-Leste and ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn pose for a photo on May 9 morning. (Photo:VNA)

Veeramalla Anjaiah, a Jakarta-based senior journalist and author of the book “Azerbaijan Seen from Indonesia”, has had an op-ed published on eurasiareview.com on May 8, highlighting Vietnam’s role in ASEAN’s unity, peace, stability.

In the article, he wrote since its initiation into ASEAN in 1995, Vietnam has gradually become an active, self-motivated, and responsible member, as seen from its practical contributions toward the group’s unity, maturity, and growth. Some of them include the adoption of the 2007 ASEAN Charter, the Hanoi Declaration on ASEAN Vision 2020, the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and Master Plans implementing the three pillars of politics-security, economics, and culture-society. It has also helped ASEAN partner with non-regional players, including China, Russia, India, and the European Union (EU).

Vietnam's membership in ASEAN has crucial social, political, economic, and security implications, the article said. Vietnam integrated its security with the rest of Southeast Asia and created a favourable environment for economic development, which has improved national industrialisation and modernisation in the context of regional integration. This raised Vietnam’s global image, leading to greater bargaining clout with superpowers like the United States and China.

Economically speaking, thanks to its prudent economic policies and 17 free trade agreements (FTAs), Vietnam has become the fastest growing economy in 2022. Its gross domestic product grew 8.02% in 2022, just behind Malaysia whose GDP grew 8.7%. Its total trade reached 730 billion USD in 2022. 

Foreign investors are pouring money into Vietnam to take advantage of its membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and other FTAs. 

Journalist Veeramalla Anjaiah noted that for the last 28 years, Vietnam has also been working hard to secure peace and reconciliation among ASEAN nations. Vietnam assists with handling the differences that arise between member nations and promotes a common stance and voice in regional affairs. The country has also helped to expand relations and promote cooperation between ASEAN and its partners, enhancing ASEAN’s international role, especially its central and decisive role in regional forums, such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting (ADMM ). 

Regarding issues relating to East Sea - a vital maritime route linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Vietnam and other ASEAN members have upheld the principle of dispute settlement by peaceful means, stick to the international maritime regulations mentioned in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to resolve disputes. Vietnam has been striving to put the East Sea on ASEAN’s agenda and ensure disputes are dealt with in a constructive way. It has shown consistent support for the DOC, ASEAN’s Six-Point Principles on the East Sea, and the soon-to-be-concluded Code of Conduct of Parties in the sea (COC).

The writer emphasised that Vietnam is a peace-loving country that wants to resolve all its East Sea disputes by working with ASEAN and the United Nations to maintain peace and stability in the region.

It is also a strong supporter of Indonesia as the ASEAN Chairman for 2023 and ASEAN’s ongoing efforts to conclude the COC with China./.