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Vietnam active in building ASEAN Community: Researcher

Vietnam has been playing an active role in building a common community in ASEAN since it became a member of the bloc and has increased its stature in recent years, according to Dr Balazs Szanto from the Webster University Thailand.

Vietnam was officially admitted into ASEAN at the 28th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Brunei on July 28, 1995.

A coordinator of the Master of Arts in the International Relations programme, Szanto told Vietnam News Agency that Vietnam has proposed many constructive and feasible initiatives to contribute to building the ASEAN Community.

He said 2020 is full of challenges for the world and the region, with many emerging problems such as the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions to developed economies, so Vietnam’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year is also full of difficulties.

Facing that fact, Vietnam will continue to demonstrate its guiding role at the regional forum, including in promoting a unanimous view regarding emerging regional issues, according to Szanto.

He noted that after the pandemic, many member countries will likely focus on their own interests, including recovering their economies, which has triggered concern over the bloc’s solidarity, unanimity, and capacity to take collective action.

However, he believes that as the ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam will create a mechanism for promoting common prosperity among member nations so that no one is left behind.

In terms of regional maritime security, Szanto said Vietnam has maintained its important role in this regard and expected it to secure a unanimous voice in ASEAN so as to form a foundation for resolving disputes in the East Sea peacefully on the basis of international law./