Vietnamese Defense Minister Phan Van Giang on November 10 called on countries outside ASEAN to take responsibility for common problems in the region.
Vietnam News quoted General Phan Van Giang at the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) held online under the chairmanship of Brunei, saying that, in the context of major countries have established more and more mechanisms of multilateralism and new strategies, ADMM will continue its efforts to show its role and position towards ensuring a balance of interests inside and outside the bloc, ensuring that countries outside ASEAN are accountable to a common problem in the region.
Vietnam’s Defense Minister also emphasized that ASEAN must adhere to its principled stance in the South China Sea (Hanoi calls it the East Sea), including settling disputes peacefully in accordance with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. refrain from actions that cause further tension in the sea, effectively implement the statements of the parties in the South China Sea, and proceed to complete the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).
Over the past few months, China, which claims almost 90% of the South China Sea, has taken actions to raise tensions in the region, including exercises, dispatching survey and coast guard ships as well as fishing vessels into the South China Sea disputed waters with countries in the region.
The United States and its non-ASEAN allies have also increased patrols to ensure freedom of sea and navigation in the region, challenging Beijing’s excessive sovereignty claims.
The United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom recently established a strategic alliance AUKUS, which experts assess as a response to pressure from China in the region.
Vietnam has not officially voiced its support for this alliance but called on all parties to comply with international law. Some experts consider this to be implicit support of Vietnam with AUKUS.