ASEAN values US’s contributions to regional peace, cooperation
Updated : Friday, November 16, 2018 9:40 AM (GMT+0700)

Members of theAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) highly valued the US’s role andcontributions to peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity in the region atthe 6th ASEAN-US Summit in Singapore on November 15.

US Vice President Mike Pence (second, right), Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan
Phuc (centre) and other ASEAN leaders at the 6th ASEAN-US Summit in Singapore on
November 15 - Photo: VNA

At the event, part of the 33rd ASEAN Summit andrelated meetings, ASEAN leaders shared the view that over the last 41 years,the two sides have attained considerable progress in their relations whencooperation has been expanded substantively in multiple spheres on the basis ofmutual respect, trust and benefits, especially in terms of trade, investment,connectivity, infrastructure development, digital economy, cyber security,marine cooperation, and fight against terrorism and extremist violence.

The US currently ranks third among trade partners and fourthamong investors of ASEAN, they noted.

US Vice President Mike Pence affirmed that his countrycommits to promoting ties with ASEAN and views the bloc as an important partnerin the region. He stressed that the US supports ASEAN’s central role and willcontinue actively taking part in ASEAN-led mechanisms, thus contributing toregional peace, security and stability.

He mentioned the US’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy,adding that it respects ASEAN’s principles and wants to enhance cooperationwith the grouping in the fields of shared concern.

The US side also announced 60 billion USD in assistance forregional infrastructure development, and that it leaves the possibility ofbilateral free trade agreements with ASEAN nations open. The country will alsocontinue to provide the 113 million-USD support package in economy and theother worth 300 million USD in regional security cooperation

With regard to the East Sea situation, Pence affirmed the US will maintain itspresence and contributions to help ensure peace, security, stability, freedomand safety of navigation, and non-militarisation in the East Sea, whilepreventing confrontations and encouraging relevant parties to fully carry outthe Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and soonfinalise an effective and binding code of conduct (COC) in the waters.

The US also looks forwards to ASEAN’s support for effortstowards complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation in the KoreanPeninsula, he added.

Addressing the summit, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc applauded the US’s role and contributions in the region, voicing his hopethat ASEAN and the US will keep stepping up dialogue, building trust,highlighting international law, forming and sharing common standards ofconduct, and promoting an open, transparent and rule-based regional order.

He urged both sides to bolster fair, equal and win-wineconomic and trade partnerships.

Regarding the US’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, hereiterated that ASEAN welcomes all initiatives helping with regional peace,stability and cooperation on the basis of respect for the basic principles andcentral role of the bloc.

PM Phuc also repeated ASEAN’s consistent stance on the EastSea issue, noting that they hope for the US’s continued support for theregional countries’ efforts to increase dialogue and trust; promoteself-restraint, non-militarisation, and no use of or threats to use force;peacefully resolve disputes in line with international law and the 1982 UNConvention on the Law of the Sea; fully implement the DOC; and build aneffective and substantive COC.

At the end of the summit, participating leaders adopted anASEAN-US statement on cyber security cooperation.

Source: VNA

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