US magazine highly appreciates Vietnam’s leadership capacity in ASEAN

Sunday, 2020-08-02 12:50:16
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FILE PHOTO: Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the opening ceremony of the 36th ASEAN Summit on June 26.
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NDO – US magazine Foreign Policy on July 31 ran an article titled “Vietnam steps up to take ASEAN leadership role” highlighting Vietnam’s enhanced leadership capacity in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The article said Vietnam assumed the ASEAN chairmanship in perhaps the most challenging year ever to take on the role.

Vietnam had been gearing for this important year, where the country not only chairs ASEAN but also serves as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, it stated.

According to the article, Vietnam has repeatedly proven its ability to host important regional forums and even high-level meetings of global importance, such as the highly challenging DPRK-US summit in Hanoi last year. The author hailed this as a remarkable makeover, especially as the country just broke out from diplomatic isolation with the normalisation of relations with the US and the joining of ASEAN in the mid-1990s.

Foreign Policy emphasised that Vietnam has earned further respect and recognition from its neighbours, including much wealthier and more developed ones like Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, thanks to its impressive response to COVID-19.

“Effective and early recovery puts Vietnam in a better position to think beyond the crisis management and have more strategic bandwidth for regional matters,” it held.

As predicted by economists from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Asian Development Bank, Vietnam has the highest chances in the region to move out of the post-COVID economic crisis in relatively better shape, the article said, hailing this as a “significant shift in Vietnam’s position in ASEAN”.

According to the article, Vietnam has been taking up an even more pivotal role in the bloc regarding diplomatic aspects. It emphasised that Vietnam highly respects ASEAN norms, maintains a consistent foreign policy, and has “stepped up to socialise these norms to the other newer members.”

It held that, given the crisis enveloping the world, the main objective of Vietnam’s 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship is to preserve the bloc’s unity and solidarity. “The high expectations from the other ASEAN members and dialogue partners reflect the level of confidence in Vietnam’s diplomatic capability,” the article said.