Vietnamese Prime Minister Welcomes Larger Role for U.S. in regional tensions
“No regional country would oppose the strategic engagement of extra-regional powers if such engagement aims to enhance cooperation for peace, stability and development,” Mr. Dung said in a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. “We attach special importance to the roles played by a vigorously rising China and by the United States — a Pacific power.”
The South China Sea area, which is crossed by more than half the world’s total trade and is thought to contain vast energy and mineral reserves, is broadly claimed by China and in part by such nations as Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.
In his speech, Mr. Dung also reiterated Vietnam’s position that Southeast Asian nations should engage Beijing as a unified bloc, and resolve their disputes in accordance with the decade-old “Declaration of Conduct,” which sets out broad principles on conflict resolution in the South China Sea.
That framework is a precursor to a potential narrower code of conduct, which countries like Vietnam want implemented but China has in the past been hesitant to support.
Photo: Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung gives the keynote address at the 12th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit: The Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on May 31, 2013. Mr Dung has called for greater strategic trust in the Asia-Pacific, arguing that simmering tension and the territorial disputes of recent years threatened the region's prosperity.