Vietnam is likely to devote its full attention to ASEAN when it takes up the chairmanship of the bloc in 2020, in what international relations experts believe will be a challenging year for ASEAN unity in the face of global economic headwinds and a more assertive China.
Next in line to chair the 10-nation bloc, Hanoi was pushing for a more “cohesive and responsive” ASEAN next year, setting the tone for the contestation of a decades-long dispute in the South China Sea, international relations expert Aleksius Jemadu said on Tuesday.
The Pelita Harapan University scholar argued that a more cohesive ASEAN would serve as a platform for Vietnam to increase its bargaining power in negotiations for a final draft of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, which is currently being negotiated among ASEAN countries and China.
“Vietnam is c...
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