ASEAN AND THE SOUTH CHINA SEA: VIETNAM’S ROLE AS CHAIR

Thailand hands over ASEAN Chairmanship to Vietnam

BY  | NOVEMBER 14, 2019

On November 4, the ASEAN chair’s gavel was passed to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam at the closing ceremony of the grouping’s annual summit in Bangkok. Vietnam will serve as the chair of ASEAN, the most important international organization in Southeast Asia, through 2020. This will be a crucial year for the grouping as it attempts to reach the goals set forth in the ASEAN Vision 2020, which was released in 1997 and envisions the establishment of a region of peace, prosperity, and stability. It is especially significant for Vietnam because the chairmanship will offer a unique opportunity to engage the region to take constructive action on the South China Sea disputes which have long threatened regional peace and security. With the chairmanship in hand, now is the time for Hanoi to be more active in fulfilling both its regional and its national responsibilities in the South China Sea.

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