ASEAN foreign ministers pass framework agreement for COC in East Vietnam Sea

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The decision may be a good sign for the upcoming negotiation between ASEAN and China

August 06,2017, 13:54 GMT+7

​ASEAN foreign ministers pass framework agreement for COC in East Vietnam Sea
Foreign ministers join hands for a family photo during the opening ceremony of the 50th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) meeting in Manila on August 5, 2017. Photo: Reuters
Foreign ministers from ASEAN member nations have achieved consensus on a framework agreement for a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Vietnam Sea.The agreement was reached during the opening date of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 50) in Manila, the Philippines on Saturday.The framework document is expected to be discussed between the foreign ministers of ASEAN and China on Sunday, said Robespierre Bolivar, acting spokesperson of the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, told the press after the meeting.

ASEAN is short for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is a political and economic organization whose members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

According to Spokesperson Bolivar, the COC framework is one of the significant results during the AMM 50 as it will provide a platform for the establishment of the Code of Conduct for the East Vietnam Sea.

Speaking with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Dr. Ha Anh Tuan, an expert on the East Vietnam Sea from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, stated there were two contradicting viewpoints regarding the decision.

The first point of view considered the framework agreement a formality, while the second opinion considered it a closer step to the signing of the COC, Tuan elaborated.

“Although I agree with the first perspective, the agreement is still a positive sign as it shows that ASEAN and China are willing to push forward their collaboration,” the expert stated.

During the gathering, the ASEAN delegates also conferred on several hot topics regarding regional and international issues, including new challenges to defense and security, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

Against the backdrop of changes in worldwide situations, the officials agreed that all ASEAN member nations should tighten their relationship.

Regarding the situation in the East Vietnam Sea, they reiterated the importance of unity within ASEAN and the bloc’s central role.

All nations should have practical contributions to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region and oppose militarization and other activities that can escalate the disputes.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh asserted that Vietnam always supports the settlement of disputes via peaceful measures in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

This entry was posted in ASEAN and tagged , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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