ASEAN, US hold 31st dialogue in Malaysia
Updated : Wednesday, April 04, 2018 9:50 AM (GMT+0700)

ASEANand the US underscored the importance of their strategic partnership at their31st dialogue in Selangor, Malaysia on April 2-3 

 
Scene at the event - Photo: asean.usmission.gov

Participatingrepresentatives of the US and ASEAN celebrated the growth of political,security, economic and cultural ties between the sides, reflected throughimplementation outcomes of their action plan for 2016 – 2020. The plan saw 83out of its 95 activities and projects carried out.

A number of fruitfulUS-supported programmes in ASEAN included the Trade & Investment FrameworkAgreements, Expanded Economic Engagement (E3) Initiative, US-ASEAN Connectivitythrough Trade and Investment project, Young Southeast Asian Leaders initiative,and Lower Mekong Initiative.

The ASEAN member countriespraised the Trump Government for maintaining its commitment to the bloc andstated their willingness to work with the nation to increase ASEANself-reliance and realise the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

ASEAN and the US agreed toeffectively implement their action plan for 2016 – 2020, particularly in suchrealms as free trade – investment, digital economics, connectivity, marinecooperation, education, people-to-people exchange, and response tonontraditional security threats.

Acting Assistant Secretaryfor East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton highlighted the importance ofASEAN in the US policy on Asia – Pacific.

Voicing her support towardthe bloc’s solidarity, unity, and centrality in the regional architecture, theofficial said the US will continue helping ASEAN tackle nontraditional securitychallenges like marine security, cybercrime, and terrorism.

Thornton introduced the US’sidea of a free and open Indo-Asia-Pacific strategy, noting that through it, theUS wants to work with ASEAN and other partners in the region to build arules-based order of equality, free trade and investment.

The US welcomes thenegotiation between the bloc and China on the Code of Conduct of Parties in theEast Sea in line with international law, including the UNCLOS, she added.

She affirmed that the USsupports peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea based on internationallaw, stressing the importance of free navigation and overflight on the waters,respect to territorial sovereignty, and non-militarization.

Addressing the event, DeputyForeign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said Vietnam attached importance to the ASEAN– US strategic partnership.

The Vietnamese diplomatlauded the sides’ implementation of their action plan for 2016 – 2020 and theUS’s practical moves to keep commitments to and foster cooperation with ASEAN.

On behalf of the bloc memberstates, Dung affirmed ASEAN’s stance and principles on the East Sea issue.

He listed opportunities andchallenges that ASEAN, the US, and other dialogue partners of the bloc need towork together to address, including piracy, human and drug trafficking, illegalfishing, marine environmental protection, and peaceful settlement of disputes.

He added the collaborationcan be achieved through regional frameworks and mechanism like the ASEANRegional Forum, East Asia Summit, and Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum, based onthe 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to maintain apeaceful and stable environment in the region.

Source:VNA

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