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|The PM discussing the results of the 36th ASEAN Summit|
This was affirmed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the press conference on the results of the 36th ASEAN Summit. According to the PM, in the 50-year history of the ASEAN, this is the first time the organisation has held an online summit. All member states' leaders participated and reached a high consensus on important issues within the region.
At the summit, ASEAN leaders discussed five issues, including controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and actively promoting socio-economic recovery, intra-regional cooperation; continuing to build a strong community according to the goals set for 2020; expanding and deepening the ASEAN's external relations with partners on the basis of mutual respect, mutually beneficial cooperation, and emphasising the central role of the ASEAN; preserving a peaceful and stable environment for cooperation in sustainable development and prosperity for all people; and upholding the spirit of goodwill and compliance with laws, especially international law, in addressing regional differences.
Answering the reporters' questions about Vietnam's assessment of ASEAN cooperation, especially in the context of COVID-19 disease, PM Phuc said that as the chairman of the ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam has been actively cooperating with other member countries to issue a Joint Declaration on COVID-19 prevention and establish a fund on COVID-19 prevention and storage of medical equipment. "Intra-ASEAN cooperation has been proactive, prompt, and drastic in a cohesive and responsive spirit to fight against the disease."
In response to a question about the impacts of the growing tensions between the US and China to the ASEAN and the ASEAN's action, PM Phuc affirmed that China and the United States are both leading partners to countries around the world, including the ASEAN and Vietnam. Thus, the relations between the US and China affect the entire globe, and the ASEAN along with it. "However, there are many frameworks of bilateral and multilateral economic co-operation between the ASEAN and China. This is an important foundation to maintain, strengthen, and promote economic cooperation between the ASEAN and the two major economies," he said. "The ASEAN always wants an Asia-Pacific region of peace, stability, prosperity, co-operation, and development and certainly does not want to choose a side."
As Chairman of the ASEAN, Vietnam is working hard with ASEAN members to implement the master plan to recover from the epidemic. “We focus on strengthening solidarity, promoting the centrality of the ASEAN, promoting conferences with China and the United States to combat the epidemic, maintain strong trade, and ensure supply chains of goods and services, facilitate trade and investment, and promote regional and world economic recovery."
Ending the press conference, PM Phuc announced that the successful 36th ASEAN Summit has closed with a joint statement on a safe and united ASEAN region proactively adapting and fighting against the COVID-19 disease.