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Vietnam’s ASEAN Presidency marked by sustained focus on rule of law in South China Sea

By ET News

Vietnam, an emerging power in the Indo-Pacific region, came out with flying colours as it hosted a series of ASEAN related summits and East Asia Summit notwithstanding constraints. The Vietnam Presidency laid a roadmap for ASEAN’s future in the Indo-Pacific region.

Vietnam has consolidated the ASEAN positions on regional issues including the fight against Covid-19 and balancing the bloc’s relationship with the U.S. and China. On the South China Sea (East Sea in Vietnam), Vietnam’s chairpersonship has been able to place emphasis on the relevance of UNCLOS. Vietnam’s success as the ASEAN chair was the bloc strongly emphasizing its principled stand on the South China Sea. This was achieved due to dynamism displayed by Vietnam as a ASEAN chair and bloc can stand up to Beijing’s aggression in SCS region.

Under Vietnam there was firmness of Asean’s resolve against China’s claims as the 10-nation bloc affirmed that UNCLOS should be the basis of sovereign rights and entitlements in the South China Sea. As Asean chairman, Vietnam also quickly adapted and responded to the Covid pandemic by hosting the Asean summit on Covid and the Special Asean Plus Three summit on Covid.

On August 8, the 53rd anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN, the foreign ministers of ASEAN released a statement on the importance of peace and stability in the region.

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