Vietnam assumed the chairmanship of ASEAN at a time of great turmoil in the world. And during its presidency, Vietnam has contributed to strengthening the strategic partnership between ASEAN and India. VietnamPlus would like to introduce the article of Dr. Vijay Sakhuja, published on the website of the Peninsula Foundation.
Pandemic COVID-19 disruptions in global supply chains lead to economic slowdowns for major economies. Add to that strategic instability in the Indo-Pacific, notably the heightened tensions between the US and China in the South China Sea.
However, the schedule according to ASEAN’s commitments with partner countries is still quite dense. Vietnam has played the leading role wisely and skillfully, maintaining the momentum in the realization of ASEAN’s mission through conferences and dialogues.
During the first six months of the year, ASEAN had 26 meetings, most of which were held online, demonstrating the high level of commitment of the organization as the President of Vietnam.
On June 16, 2020, at the 20th ASEAN-India Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting, held online, India and ASEAN “reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen and deepen. cooperation between the two sides. ”
[Ấn Độ đánh giá cao vai trò Chủ tịch ASEAN 2020 của Việt Nam]
The two sides acknowledged the achievements achieved in the implementation of the ASEAN-India Action Plan (2016-2020) and “shared a commitment to complete the development of a new Action Plan for the period 2021-2025 to increase strengthen strategic partnership in the next 5 years. ”
A month later, Deputy Foreign Minister, Head of SOM India attended the 22nd ASEAN-India Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), praising the role Chairman of ASEAN of Vietnam. Both parties “agree to continue to support each other’s citizens affected by the spread of the corona virus;” provided “ASEAN countries details on the Indo-Pacific Initiative initiated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 16th ASEAN-India Summit in 2019;” welcomes “ASEAN’s role in promoting cooperation, dialogue and confidence building in the region;” at the same time conveyed India’s support for “efforts to seriously and fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the development of a Code of Conduct (COC) at sea. Effective, effective and consistent with international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982. “
India and ASEAN are facing the COVID-19 pandemic. There is ample evidence that both sides intend to work together to deal with the pandemic. Prime Minister Modi telephoned with leaders of Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam, ensuring India’s support for ASEAN member countries.
Similarly, Indian Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla also has weekly phone calls with his counterparts in the US, Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and Vietnam to share ideas and best practices. to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic in the region Indo-Pacific.
This is the opportunity for health leaders in India and ASEAN to set up a virtual control platform for the “Health Development Conference. Indo-ASEANWhich can contribute to the “ASEAN Emergency Operations Center (EOC) network, ASEAN Risk Assessment and Information Center, ASEAN BioDiaspora Virtual Center (ABVC) and ASEAN Coordination Center on Humanitarian assistance in disaster management (AHA) to respond to future medical emergencies. ”
In his speech at the 6th ASEAN-India Scholar Network (AINTT) Roundtable, India’s Foreign Minister, Dr. S Jayashankar, affirmed “the corona virus impact is beyond our imagination. . The estimated damage is about 5.8-8.8 trillion USD, or about 6.5-9.7% of global GDP. “
ASEAN Vision for the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)
India recognized the importance of the ASEAN Vision on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and committed to “seek cooperation in key areas outlined in the AOIP, including maritime cooperation, connection, sustainable development and economic cooperation to contribute to maintaining peace, freedom and prosperity in the region. “
Likewise, ASEAN welcomes integration efforts in various sectors and promotes the regional framework under India’s Look East Policy and SAGAR (Security and Growth for All Countries in the Region). field). Although health and pandemic are not about AOIP and SAGAR, it certainly does belong to a larger subject covering those two issues.
On November 4, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) at the East Asia Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. This is “an open global initiative,” “based on the structure and mechanism of regional cooperation to identify the seven central pillars of maritime security, marine ecology, marine resources, and resources and resource sharing, disaster risk reduction and management, science and technology and academic cooperation, commercial linkages and shipping. “
Cooperation, dialogue and trust building
India commits to actively contribute to ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM-Plus). . India believes in “the rule of law” and believes that the COC is a reasonable solution to reduce tensions in the South China Sea. India’s Foreign Minister stated that India has coordinated with Vietnam and “Vietnam is working on COC related issues and that is the way to do it.”
Finally, India argues that “when we have resolved this pandemic, we must clarify a truth. The world will never be the same as before. This means new thinking, new ideas, longing for more and more openness. We need to go beyond conventional standards, whether in business, politics or security. Those are our main areas of discussion and I am sure you will have a productive discussion today. ”
It would be helpful if ASEAN and India discover similarities in the ASEAN Vision of the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI). In such a context, Vietnam has a rare opportunity to continue to expand, deepen and strengthen the ASEAN-India strategic partnership./.