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Security, connectivity, economic cooperation and sustainable development key objectives of ASEAN: SanhChau Pham, Vietnam ambassador at WION World Order

Vietnamese Ambassador to India, PhamSanh Chau Photograph:( WION )

WION Web Team New Delhi Jul 25, 2019, 04.57 PM (IST)

At the 34th Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) summit in Bangkok last month, member states had presented their collective vision for the region in a "non-binding document" for the Indo-Pacific region in the backdrop of escalating geopolitical conflict between China and the United States. 

Vietnam ambassador to India, SanhChau Pham speaking on WION World Order said: "I want to stress that if you look at Indo-Pacific from ASEAN perspective, you see this is horizontal and vertical."

Explaining further, Pham added, "horizontally we will try to connect all the regions in the Indo-Pacific, we call the Indian Ocean, and vertically will try to adjust question from security to connectivity, economic cooperation and also the sustainable development objective."

During the ASEAN summit, the non-binding document for the Indo-Pacific region titled "The ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific" laid down the goal of the forum to become an important strategic partner in cooperation with all parties in the future and to enhance the geopolitical influence of the organization.  

Reflecting on it,  Pham added that ASEAN plays a central role in this architecture. "This is the first time we have come with a collective concept of how we see the future of the Indo-Pacific vision," he said.

India has welcomed ASEAN’s outlook terming it "important elements of convergence" having its own approach towards the region.  On the sidelines of G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, the Indian delegation headed by PM Modi had held discussions on the Indo-Pacific region with the Trump administration and Japan with the focus on regional connectivity and infrastructural development.

India could not become a member of ASEAN due to its geographical location being a part of South Asia. On July 23, 1996, ASEAN gave India advisory status.

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India could not become a member of ASEAN due to its geographical location being a part of South Asia. On July 23, 1996, ASEAN gave India advisory status.