Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has stressed on the role of ASEAN bloc in building trust for sustainability in the Asia Pacific.
“Countries should heighten multilateral mechanisms and work together to build a stable and sustainable regional architecture in which ASEAN needs to continue promoting its central role,” he said.
“If we fail to build strategic trust, it is very fragile to ensure peace, stability, security and safety,” the government website quoted Dung as saying at a meeting with Australian scholars at the Lowy Institute in Sydney on March 17.
Dung said the Asia-Pacific region contributes 55 percent to the global gross domestic product and takes an important role in formulating the future of the world order.
“However, the region is facing uncertainties due to complicated developments, including those in the East Sea,” he said, using the Vietnamese name for the South China Sea.
“We believe that peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea are the common interests of countries both inside and outside the region,” he said.
China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, believed to have rich oil and fisheries resources and home to important marine lines. The claim has been rejected by Vietnam as well as criticized as unlawful and groundless by international scholars.
Dung said the current insecurities and tensions can only be settled if countries, particularly those directly involved, strictly comply with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, exercise self-restraint, take no unilateral actions that may further complicate the situation, avoid the threat and use of force, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and work towards the Code of Conduct.
Dung highlighted that each nation, from small to big, must take care of common issues in the region and the world as well as legitimate interests of other countries.
“This is the basic perception foundation to boost cooperation mechanisms, build trust and address divergences through peaceful measures in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.”
Dung affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of settling disputes through peaceful measures on the basis of international law and behavior standards in the region.
Vietnam supports Australia’s greater role in the emerging regional architecture and expects stronger cooperation with Australia and partners for peace, stability, development and prosperity in Asia, he said.