ASEAN applauds the US's East Sea stance

(VOVWORLD) -Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc and  Ambassadors of other ASEAN countries on Saturday discussed online with Representative Joaquin Castro on strengthening the ASEAN-US Strategic Partnership. 

Castro, who is Vice Chairman of the House’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Chairman of the US Congress’s ASEAN Group appreciated the COVID-19 response lessons and experience from ASEAN countries and their cooperation in fighting the epidemic. Representative Castro reiterated the bipartisan support in the US Congress for strengthening the ASEAN-US Strategic Partnership and ASEAN's centrality in the region.

Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc emphasized that, as Chair of ASEAN, Vietnam has cooperated with ASEAN members to maintain the ASEAN agenda and activities despite COVID-19. He expressed his hopes that the epidemic will soon be controlled so that ASEAN leaders and its partners, including the US President, will come to Hanoi for the Southeast Asia Summit later this year.

ASEAN Ambassadors thanked the US support for maintaining international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in the South China Sea (known as the East Sea in Vietnam) and waters in the region.

Ambassador Ngoc praised the Foreign Affairs Committee of both the Senate and the House of Representatives for declaring China's territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea as illegal.

Representative Castro stressed on the bipartisan consensus on upholding international law, peacefully resolving disputes in the South China Sea, and emphasizing the legal validity of the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling in the  Philippine lawsuit against China. He affirmed that the US always stands side by side with other countries in the region, not allowing any country to use its power to expand its territory in the South China Sea, East China Sea, or on land.

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