He pointed to factors decisive to the bloc’s successful external
relations, which are self-reliance and growth of each member state, the
strengthening of solidarity and unity in the bloc, and the ability to
harmonise interests of each ASEAN member country, the ASEAN as a whole
and the association’s partners.
The PM said the thriving rapport between ASEAN and China has brought
mutual benefits and now constitutes a leading factor for regional peace,
security and prosperity.
He suggested the two sides increase political and strategic trust in the
coming time while promoting comprehensive and pragmatic collaboration,
addressing all differences and disputes via peaceful means on the basis
of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on
the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
At the same time, the two sides should bolster their partnership in
trade, investment and connectivity, tourism, cultural and
people-to-people exchanges along with intensifying cooperation to
respond to climate change, terrorism, crime, diseases, and natural
disasters, including the sustainable use and management of water
resources in the Mekong River, PM Phuc said.
He confirmed Vietnam treasures relations with China and will do its
utmost to coordinate with other ASEAN member countries to propel
ASEAN-China relationship forward.
To promote ASEAN-Japan relations, the PM suggested the two sides
prioritise boosting economics-trade-investment links and soon conclude
negotiations on the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership
Agreement (AJCEP) to realise the target of doubling bilateral trade and
investment by 2022.
He proposed increasing infrastructure connectivity and facilitating investment and business activities.
PM Phuc highly valued Japan’s commitment to prioritising ASEAN in its
“Partnership for Quality Infrastructure” initiative worth 200 billion
He said he hopes Japan will continue to help ASEAN small-and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) improve capacity in terms of market
access, capital and technology.
At the same time, stronger connection in education-training, cultural
and people-to-people exchanges will create a long-term foundation for
the bilateral relations, he said.
Highlighting the targets of the ASEAN Chapter and ASEAN Community Vision
2025, PM Phuc said the ultimate goal is to maintain peace, security and
stability in the region. He added that all countries in the region and
the international community must share the responsibility for preserving
peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the
Mentioning recent developments, the PM said Vietnam hopes ASEAN and
China will work together to address satisfactorily arising problems
toward a new period of peace, cooperation and development. He called on
the involved parties to restrain from actions that could complicate the
situation; abide by international law, including the UNCLOS 1982;
seriously implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the
East Sea (DOC); and work for the early formation of a Code of Conduct in
the East Sea (COC).
The PM welcomed ASEAN and China’s agreement on the application of the
Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) in the East Sea and the
establishment of hotlines between foreign ministries to address
emergencies at sea.
He proposed the two sides strive to complete the COC in 2017 on the
occasion of the 15 th anniversary of the signing of the DOC and the 50
th founding anniversary of ASEAN.
At the 29 th ASEAN Summit, ASEAN leaders discussed the bloc’s relations
with external partners and regional and international issues of mutual
concerns, including terrorism, extremism, cybercrime, climate change and
diseases, especially Zika virus, and the situation in the East Sea and
The leaders proposed specific measures to increase competitiveness of
ASEAN businesses, further facilitate trade and investment activities,
and develop the labour market and tourism in the context of regional and
global economic downturn.
They stressed the significance of maintaining peace, stability,
security, safety, and freedom of navigation and over-flight in the
region, settling peacefully disputes based on respect for international
law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, implementing seriously the DOC, and soon
reaching a COC in the East Sea.
The summit also stressed the strengthening of solidarity and unity of
ASEAN and the bloc’s central role in relations with foreign partners as
well as in handling challenges and formulating a regional rule-based
At the 19 th ASEAN-China Summit which also marked the 25 years of their
dialogue partnership, the two sides’ leaders expressed their pleasure at
the significant strides in bilateral ties over the past 25 years.
China remains the biggest trade partner of ASEAN with two-way trade
reaching 346.4 billion USD in 2015. It is also the fourth largest
investor of ASEAN with investment of 8.2 billion USD in 2015. The two
sides have set the target of 1 trillion USD in bilateral trade and 150
billion USD in investment in 2020.
Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in natural disaster management,
environmental protection, climate change adaptation, health care,
education, water resources management, and in coping with such
challenges as terrorism, cybercrime, and human and drug trafficking.
Chinese leaders said they treasure relations with ASEAN and support its
central role in the region. China hopes to expand and deepen ties with
ASEAN and implement effectively the ASEAN-China Action Plan in 2016-2020
and the existing cooperation mechanisms such as the Mekong-Lancang.
ASEAN countries re-affirmed the importance they attach to relations with
China – which is considered one of the most important partners of
ASEAN, and hope to work with China to address common matters such as
terrorism, environment, and climate change.
They voiced support for China’s initiatives on “One Belt – One Road” and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Regarding the East Sea issue, ASEAN leaders reiterated the significance
of maintaining peace, stability, security, and safety of navigation in
the East Sea, which is crucial to peace and stability in the region and
the world as well as the relations between ASEAN and China and other
They reiterated common principles such as exercising self-restraint,
addressing peacefully disputes in line with international law, including
the 1982 UNCLOS, and without using or threatening to use force.
The two sides agreed on the necessity of enhancing dialogues and
cooperation to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea,
implementing effectively the DOC and soon signing the COC for mutual
The summit ended with the adoption of a Joint Statement to commemorate
the 25 th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations; a Joint
Statement on the application of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea
(CUES) in the East Sea; a document guiding hotline communications
between senior officials of ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministries in
responding to emergencies at sea; and a Joint Statement on Production
At the 19 th ASEAN-Japan Summit, leaders confirmed their determination
to strengthen the bilateral strategic partnership to contribute to
peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe affirmed the importance of ASEAN in
his country’s external policies, while ASEAN countries hailed the
cooperation and assistance of Japan in various fields as well as its
crucial role in promoting regional peace and prosperity.
Japan is currently the second biggest trade partner and investor of
ASEAN. Two-way trade hit 239.4 billion USD in 2015, and Japan injected
17.4 billion USD into ASEAN in the same year, making up 14.5 percent of
the total investment flow into the bloc.
Both ASEAN and Japan pledged to cooperate in fighting terrorism, extreme
violence, cross-border and cybercrime, and in strengthening marine
The two sides showed deep concerns over the escalating tensions in the
Korean peninsula and actions violating relevant resolutions of the UN
They stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, safety and
freedom of navigation and over-flight in the East Sea and of settling
disputes via peaceful means in line with international law, including
the 1992 UNCLOS.