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Invigorating ASEAN-US relations: The necessity of mutual understanding and proactive reciprocity

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Editor’s note:The author of this article is Dr. Stephen R Nagy, senior associate professor at the Department of Politics and International Studies under International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan.

ASEAN-U.S. relations continue to deepen despite the challenges for the bloc in balancing its relationship with the United States and China. Repeatedly, ASEAN leaders have said that they do not want to choose between China and the United States.

They continue to stress they would like to have a constructive, mutually beneficial, and stable relationship with each partner. The deepening U.S.-China strategic rivalry is making this increasingly difficult.

The United States needs to recognize ASEAN’s geographic proximity to China and the important economic ties it has with the Chinese economy means that without strong economic engagement with China, its development will be slower, weaker, and less comprehensive.

At the same time, ASEAN values and recognizes the importance of its relationship with the United States. The United States is a large investor in ASEAN and it has an important diplomatic footprint in the region that inculcates stability in there and provides comprehensive engagement that includes economic, diplomatic, and security involvement that brings stability to the region.

The United States could enhance its position with ASEAN leaders by recognizing ASEAN priorities such as development, infrastructure and connectivity, peace and stability, and the desire not to choose between the United States and China.

Here the United States can enhance its partnership with ASEAN through partnering with countries like Japan, Australia, South Korea, and others to provide public goods to the region, while at the same time recognizing ASEAN centrality as key to the region’s future integration and sustainable development. 

Instruments of public good provision could include the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), supply chain resilience schemes, inclusive development initiatives, and importantly a trade agreement that would anchor the U.S. into the region through shared trade priorities.   

A focus on and expansion of health infrastructure such as the new CDC Southeast Asia Regional Office in Vietnam opened by Vice President Kamala Harris in August 2021, an illustrative example of what the U.S. can do to contribute to the region.

This could be enhanced and allay concerns of ASEAN members about choosing between the U.S. and China if this office was open to Chinese health officials as well. 

For ASEAN, any investment in non-traditional security issues in Southeast Asia such as anti-piracy, illegal fishing, climate change, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and search and rescue would be positive initiatives to invigorate bilateral relations and also provide opportunities for China to work with, not in competition with, the U.S. on issues that benefit Southeast Asia. 

It is important to recognize that ASEAN builds relationships with countries based on the realities of the heterogeneity of ASEAN members and their focus on improving levels of governance, enhancing development, and cooperation. 

This does not mean that human rights or democracy is unimportant but it does recognize that states see their priorities through the lens of development, improving governance and maintaining strategic autonomy as they deal with the challenges of the U.S. – China strategic rivalry.

ASEAN has an important role in bringing the region together but it needs to also play a more proactive, cohesive role in contributing to building a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.

The ASEAN Indo-Pacific outlook is a good start but it still needs to be more focused on articulating the importance of building institutions that focus on good governance, transparent, and mutually agreeable rules that ensure that dialogue and rules are the basis for how problems are resolved in the Indo-Pacific, not a might is right Machiavellian approach to foreign affairs.

To carve out a role for ASEAN and to invigorate the ASEAN-U.S. relationship, it isn’t enough to just advocate for the ASEAN way or ASEAN centrality. ASEAN needs to bring to the table concrete and achievable initiatives that are meaningful and sustainable for the U.S. and other partners.

Here, championing good governance in the region, opening up more educational and research exchange opportunities throughout the region, fostering the conditions for deeper intra-ASEAN integration to enhance strategic autonomy are critical to building deeper and broader ties with the U.S. and other stakeholders including Japan, South Korea, the EU, Canada, and Australia.

In short, invigorating ASEAN-U.S. relations requires more mutual understanding and proactive reciprocity in contributing to deepening ties.

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/politics/20221114/invigorating-aseanus-relations-the-necessity-of-mutual-understanding-and-proactive-reciprocity/70004.html

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UK willing to help Ho Chi Minh City turn into regional financial hub: ambassador

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The UK is willing to share its experience to help Ho Chi Minh City develop into a financial hub in the Southeast Asian region, UK Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew said during a meeting with Ho Chi Minh City chairman Phan Van Mai on Tuesday.

He expected that 2023, which marks the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the UK, will witness the strong development of cooperation between the two countries in many sectors.

He shared that the UK will focus on cooperating with Ho Chi Minh City in three key aspects this year, including trade, education, and sustainable development.

As for trade, the UK ambassador said the two sides have a solid cooperation foundation with their bilateral free trade agreement.

The UK is also completing procedures to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to which Vietnam is party.

Some UK delegations will visit Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam to boost their cooperation in the coming time.

In addition, the UK hoped to foster the collaboration with Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in particular in education.

Regarding sustainable development, Frew said the UK will work with Vietnam in energy transition to head toward clean, green development and carbon neutrality.

In response, Ho Chi Minh City chairman Mai said that the city is building a plan to turn into a financial center and it is in need of the support of other countries, such as the UK.

The city always welcomes and creates favorable conditions for foreign citizens to live and work here.

Moreover, the city pays a lot of attention to further cooperation with the UK in education and sustainable development.

Ambassador Frew also shared a plan to celebrate the two countries’ diplomatic ties in September this year.

Mai affirmed that Ho Chi Minh City is willing to participate in events held by the UK Embassy in Vietnam.

On the same day, patrol vessel HMS Spey of the British Royal Navy arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, commencing a five-day friendship visit to the city.

Frew said the visit proved the cooperation commitment between the two countries in national defense, marine security, and the East Vietnam Sea.

Chairman Mai said the visit by HMS Spey is a milestone to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bilateral ties between Vietnam and the UK.

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The UK is willing to share its experience to help Ho Chi Minh City develop into a financial hub in the Southeast Asian region, UK Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew said during a meeting with Ho Chi Minh City chairman Phan Van Mai on Tuesday.

He expected that 2023, which marks the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the UK, will witness the strong development of cooperation between the two countries in many sectors.

He shared that the UK will focus on cooperating with Ho Chi Minh City in three key aspects this year, including trade, education, and sustainable development.

As for trade, the UK ambassador said the two sides have a solid cooperation foundation with their bilateral free trade agreement.

The UK is also completing procedures to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to which Vietnam is party.

Some UK delegations will visit Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam to boost their cooperation in the coming time.

In addition, the UK hoped to foster the collaboration with Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in particular in education.

Regarding sustainable development, Frew said the UK will work with Vietnam in energy transition to head toward clean, green development and carbon neutrality.

In response, Ho Chi Minh City chairman Mai said that the city is building a plan to turn into a financial center and it is in need of the support of other countries, such as the UK.

The city always welcomes and creates favorable conditions for foreign citizens to live and work here.

Moreover, the city pays a lot of attention to further cooperation with the UK in education and sustainable development.

Ambassador Frew also shared a plan to celebrate the two countries’ diplomatic ties in September this year.

Mai affirmed that Ho Chi Minh City is willing to participate in events held by the UK Embassy in Vietnam.

On the same day, patrol vessel HMS Spey of the British Royal Navy arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, commencing a five-day friendship visit to the city.

Frew said the visit proved the cooperation commitment between the two countries in national defense, marine security, and the East Vietnam Sea.

Chairman Mai said the visit by HMS Spey is a milestone to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bilateral ties between Vietnam and the UK.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/politics/20230208/uk-willing-to-help-ho-chi-minh-city-turn-into-regional-financial-hub-ambassador/71404.html

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UK naval vessel begins 5-day visit to Ho Chi Minh City

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Patrol vessel HMS Spey of the British Royal Navy arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, commencing a five-day friendship visit to the city on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the UK.

Captained by Commander Michael Proudman, this is the fourth British Royal Navy ship sent to Vietnam in the past five years.

The visit is an opportunity for the Royal Navy to strengthen its cooperation with Vietnamese partners and underlines the UK’s unwavering commitment to promoting global stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region, Proudman stated.

UK Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew affirmed that defense and security cooperation between Hanoi and London is developing strongly, adding that the Southeast Asian country plays an important role in regional security.

The visit reaffirms the fact that the UK is one of Vietnam’s most reliable and long-term partners in maritime security.

UK Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew (L) on the HMS Spey in Ho Chi Minh City, February 7, 2023. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

UK Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew (L) on the HMS Spey in Ho Chi Minh City, February 7, 2023. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

It takes place on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations, Frew continued, adding that the milestone marks half a century of good friendship and effective cooperation, including ties in defense and security.

The East Vietnam Sea is very important to global security as well as trade and supply chains, so the UK and other countries need to be concerned about what is happening here, the ambassador stressed.

During their stay, officers of the HMS Spey are expected to pay a courtesy visit to the leaders of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the 7th Military Region Command, and the 2nd Naval Command.

They will also participate in many activities including professional exchanges, friendly football matches, and cultural exchanges.

The crew will welcome students in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) from British International School in Ho Chi Minh City onto their ship.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Patrol vessel HMS Spey of the British Royal Navy arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, commencing a five-day friendship visit to the city on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the UK.

Captained by Commander Michael Proudman, this is the fourth British Royal Navy ship sent to Vietnam in the past five years.

The visit is an opportunity for the Royal Navy to strengthen its cooperation with Vietnamese partners and underlines the UK’s unwavering commitment to promoting global stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region, Proudman stated.

UK Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew affirmed that defense and security cooperation between Hanoi and London is developing strongly, adding that the Southeast Asian country plays an important role in regional security.

The visit reaffirms the fact that the UK is one of Vietnam’s most reliable and long-term partners in maritime security.

UK Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew (L) on the HMS Spey in Ho Chi Minh City, February 7, 2023. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

UK Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew (L) on the HMS Spey in Ho Chi Minh City, February 7, 2023. Photo: Tran Phuong / Tuoi Tre

It takes place on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations, Frew continued, adding that the milestone marks half a century of good friendship and effective cooperation, including ties in defense and security.

The East Vietnam Sea is very important to global security as well as trade and supply chains, so the UK and other countries need to be concerned about what is happening here, the ambassador stressed.

During their stay, officers of the HMS Spey are expected to pay a courtesy visit to the leaders of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the 7th Military Region Command, and the 2nd Naval Command.

They will also participate in many activities including professional exchanges, friendly football matches, and cultural exchanges.

The crew will welcome students in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) from British International School in Ho Chi Minh City onto their ship.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/politics/20230208/uk-naval-vessel-begins-5day-visit-to-ho-chi-minh-city/71394.html

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Vietnamese PM to pay official visits to Singapore, Brunei

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Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, his spouse, and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation will pay official visits to Singapore and Brunei Darussalam from February 8 to 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Sunday.

The visits will be made at the invitations of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, respectively.

This will be PM Chinh’s first visits to these two countries after assuming his prime minister position, and a visit by a Vietnamese prime minister to Singapore after five years and to Brunei Darussalam after 15 years.

The visit to Singapore will be paid on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries and the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership.

The two sides had many high-ranking delegation exchange activities last year, including Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Singapore in February and Singaporean President Halimah Yacob’s visit to Vietnam in October.

Singapore is currently an important economic partner of Vietnam.

The bilateral trade between the two countries reached some US$9 billion in 2022, up 10.1 percent over 2021.

Singapore is also Vietnam’s biggest investor in ASEAN and ranks second among the 141 countries and territories worldwide investing in Vietnam.

It has had more than 3,000 projects with total registered capital of nearly $70.4 billion in Vietnam.

Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) is a symbol of the economic cooperation between the two countries. There have been 12 VSIPs in nine cities and provinces in Vietnam with an occupancy rate of over 83 percent.

These industrial parks have attracted investment totaling $17.6 billion and created nearly 300,000 jobs.

As for Brunei Darussalam, the visit by PM Chinh will be made after the two countries celebrated the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2022.

The two countries met the target of reaching the two-way trade value of over $500 million before 2023.

As of October last year, their bilateral trade amounted to $638.5 million, surging 141.1 percent year on year.

Brunei Darussalam currently ranks 26th out of the 141 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with total registered capital of $971 million.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the framework of the visit to Singapore, PM Chinh will hold talks with his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and witness the signing of some cooperation agreements.

He will also meet with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob, leaders of the Singaporean Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong, and some other leaders.

In Brunei Darussalam, the Vietnamese government leader will hold talks with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, visit some enterprises, and attend a workshop between enterprises of the two countries.

Like us on Facebook or  follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, his spouse, and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation will pay official visits to Singapore and Brunei Darussalam from February 8 to 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Sunday.

The visits will be made at the invitations of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, respectively.

This will be PM Chinh’s first visits to these two countries after assuming his prime minister position, and a visit by a Vietnamese prime minister to Singapore after five years and to Brunei Darussalam after 15 years.

The visit to Singapore will be paid on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries and the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership.

The two sides had many high-ranking delegation exchange activities last year, including Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Singapore in February and Singaporean President Halimah Yacob’s visit to Vietnam in October.

Singapore is currently an important economic partner of Vietnam.

The bilateral trade between the two countries reached some US$9 billion in 2022, up 10.1 percent over 2021.

Singapore is also Vietnam’s biggest investor in ASEAN and ranks second among the 141 countries and territories worldwide investing in Vietnam.

It has had more than 3,000 projects with total registered capital of nearly $70.4 billion in Vietnam.

Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) is a symbol of the economic cooperation between the two countries. There have been 12 VSIPs in nine cities and provinces in Vietnam with an occupancy rate of over 83 percent.

These industrial parks have attracted investment totaling $17.6 billion and created nearly 300,000 jobs.

As for Brunei Darussalam, the visit by PM Chinh will be made after the two countries celebrated the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2022.

The two countries met the target of reaching the two-way trade value of over $500 million before 2023.

As of October last year, their bilateral trade amounted to $638.5 million, surging 141.1 percent year on year.

Brunei Darussalam currently ranks 26th out of the 141 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with total registered capital of $971 million.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the framework of the visit to Singapore, PM Chinh will hold talks with his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and witness the signing of some cooperation agreements.

He will also meet with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob, leaders of the Singaporean Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong, and some other leaders.

In Brunei Darussalam, the Vietnamese government leader will hold talks with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, visit some enterprises, and attend a workshop between enterprises of the two countries.

Like us on Facebook or  follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/politics/20230206/vietnamese-pm-to-pay-official-visits-to-singapore-brunei/71346.html

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