The ASEAN member states welcomed the recent summit between US president Joe Biden and Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Following the November 15 meeting in Woodside, California, the member’s urged the two superpowers to continue to support to peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
“We were encouraged by their continued commitment to maintain open lines of communication and manage their relationship responsibly by building on the November 2022 meeting in Indonesia’s Bali,” said a November 21 joint statement by the bloc’s foreign ministers.
It added that both China and the US are comprehensive strategic partners of ASEAN, and ASEAN welcomes their commitments to the key principles, shared values and norms enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Declaration of the East Asia Summit (EAS) on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations (Bali Principles) and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
“As long-standing partners of ASEAN, we encourage continued support of China and the US to the ASEAN Community building process and to peace, stability and prosperity of our region, based on mutual interests and mutual benefits,” it said.
The statement explained that ASEAN shares the common interest of reinforcing an open, transparent, resilient and inclusive regional architecture, anchored in international law, with ASEAN at the centre, as guided by the purposes and principles of ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms and to build trust and confidence among all countries in the region.
“ASEAN stands ready to work together with China and the US to promote the region as an epicentrum of growth by building resilience against emerging challenges and future shocks through engagement and cooperation, and safeguarding peace, security and development in our region and the world at large,” it continued.
According to a November 15 statement from the White House, during the summit, Biden acknowledged that the US and China are in competition, and noted that the US will continue to invest in sources of American strength at home, while aligning with allies and partners around the world.
It added that the US will always stand up for its interests, its values, and its allies and partners, and reiterated that the world expects the US and China to manage competition responsibly to prevent it from veering into conflict, confrontation, or a new Cold War.
“The two leaders exchanged views on key regional and global challenges. President Biden underscored the US’ support for a free and open Indo-Pacific that is connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient. The president reaffirmed the US’ ironclad commitment to defending our Indo-Pacific allies,” said the statement.
Xi said China and the US should jointly shoulder responsibilities as major countries, adding that the problems facing human society cannot be solved without cooperation between the major powers, according to a Chinese foreign ministry press statement.
“China and the United States should lead by example, step up coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues, and provide more public goods for the world. The two sides should keep their initiatives open to each other or coordinate and connect them for synergy to the benefit of the world,” he said, added the statement.
Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, described the US and China as the two great powers in the world and noted that they are important partners in ASEAN, both in the East Asia summit and in ASEAN plus one. He explained that the two nations can easily influence the world order, and thus the region.
He lauded the fact that the leaders of the two superpowers could hold a direct dialogue, adding that he believed it has reduced world tensions, especially as current global political and trade issues are already tense, with both countries influencing disputes.
“The two countries’ direct dialogue has eased political and commercial tensions. If the two countries continue to have dialogue on these issues, as well as recent conflicts, the world as well as the ASEAN region will be even more relieved,” he said.