European media highlights 36th ASEAN Summit’s success

Media agencies in Germany and Austria have highlighted the success of the 36th ASEAN Summit, which was held on June 26 via video conference for the first time ever, under Vietnam as the 2020 ASEAN Chair.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the 36th ASEAN Summit. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the 36th ASEAN Summit. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

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Germany’s Junge Welt Newspaper ran an article on June 27 saying that the focus of the summit was to find solutions to revive the economy post COVID-19, as well as to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN partners.

The newspaper highlighted important orientations in the opening speech of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in which, the Vietnamese PM expressed his desire that the event would create an opportunity for ASEAN member states to reaffirm their solidarity, political will and determination to overcome the current challenges and steadily move forward.

In addition, PM Phuc also affirmed that ASEAN countries have actively shared information and experience while coordinating together to curb the disease, adding that ASEAN should continue to effectively control the COVID-19 epidemic.

The PM also stated that ASEAN will expand and strengthen equal and win-win cooperation with its partners, while affirming the bloc’s strong commitment to economic liberalisation and integration, striving to soon finalise the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Previously, Junge Welt also published an article on the preparation for the 36th ASEAN Summit in an online format under the chairmanship of Vietnam. The article said that 10 member states, with a population of more than 660 million people, have so far fought the COVID-19 epidemic much more successfully than Europe, but have also suffered economic losses due to the pandemic. According to the article, the possibility that ASEAN may sign the RCEP along with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand by the end of this year would lend a hand in helping ASEAN to overcome the difficulties caused by the epidemic soon.

Austria’s Salzburger Nachrichten Newspaper also highlighted the organisation of the 36th ASEAN Summit in the form of video conference. The newspaper cited the information provided by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs about three focuses under discussion at the summit, including coping with COVID-19, addressing geopolitical tensions, and enhancing women empowerment.

After the summit, Igor Olegovich Mishin, a Russian expert from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) under the Russian Academy of Sciences, stated on June 27 that in the context of the complicated developments in Asia Pacific in general and the East Sea in particular, Vietnam’s approach to regional issues has made significant contributions to peace and development in the region.

According to Mishin, Vietnam’s approach to issues in Asia Pacific and the East Sea is based on the principles of maintaining peace and friendly neighbourliness. The country supports the settlement of conflicts via international law, with the foundation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The expert expressed his belief that Vietnam’s active viewpoints will receive widespread support from the international community.

Evaluating the coordination between Vietnam and Russian at international forums and on Asia Pacific matters, Mishin affirmed that the time-tested relations between the two countries are those of a strategic partnership. The two sides have been collaborating effectively within the framework of ASEAN, as well as in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM+). The Russian expert highly appreciated the contribution of Vietnam and Russia to regional security, affirming that both countries back UNCLOS 1982 and consider it a legal foundation to address disputes in the East Sea.