Intervention de M Nguyen Tan Dung, le premier ministre du Vietnam, à la réunion sur la sécurité en Asie à l’hôtel Shangri la à Singapour le 31 mai . Les autorités vietnamiennes souhaitent que ce texte soit largement diffusé et commenté (favorablement) pour conforter la poisition du Vietnam sur ses conflits avec la Chine en Mer orientale. Le texte est malheureusement en anglais et dans une langue diplomatique assez lisse. Mais il est clair que pour la première fois le Vietnam, dans une enceinte internationale, expose clairement ses griefs contre la Chine qui d’ailleurs a réagi.
by H.E. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
at the 12th Shangri-La Dialogue
(Singapore, May 31st, 2013)
BUILDING STRATEGIC TRUST
FOR PEACE, COOPERATION AND PROSPERITY
IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION
Excellency Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,
Dr. John Chipman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of the Singaporean host, Dr. John Chipman and the organisers of the 12th Shangri-La Dialogue for your kind invitation to me to attend and address this important forum. Since its inception 12 years ago, the Shangri-La Dialogue has truly become one of the most substantive and meaningful security dialogues in the region. I do believe that the full presence of government officials, military leaders, prestigious scholars and all distinguished delegates at this forum reflects the interest and the efforts to jointly preserve peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region in the context of a dynamically changing world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
While languages and expressions might differ, I am sure we all agree that without trust, there would be no success and harder work asks for bigger trust. In Viet Nam, there is a saying that ‘if trust is lost, all is lost.’ Trust is the beginning of all friendships and cooperation, the remedy that works to prevent calculations that could risk conflicts. Trust must be treasured and nurtured constantly by concrete, consistent actions and, most importantly, with a sincere attitude.
In the 20th century, Southeast Asia in particular and the Asia-PacTo begin with, Viet Nam has a profound confidence in the bright future of the region that we are living in. Yet the trend of increased engagement and competition, particularly by big powers not only offers positive elements but also involves negative risks that require us to take initiative and work together to prevent.
The Asia-Pacific region now enjoys dynamic development and is home to the three biggest economies of the world. Here, the trend of multi-layer and multi-sector cooperation and linkages is evolving vigorously and becomes the prevailing one of the day. This is quite a promising prospect for us all.
However, looking back at the full picture of the region in the past years, we cannot fail to be concerned over the simmering challenges to peace and security.
Competition and engagement are by themselves normal facts in the course of development cooperation. Yet if such competition and engagement embrace calculations only in one’s own interest, inequality, disrespect of international law and lack of transparency, then strategic trust could not be reinforced, and there could be a chance for the rise of division, suspicion and the risk of mutual containment, thus adversely affecting peace, cooperation and development.
The unpredictable developments in the Korean Peninsula, territorial, maritime and island and natural resources disputes from the East China Sea to the East Sea (South China Sea) that are evolving with much complexity, threatening regional peace and security, firstly maritime security and safety as well as the freedom of navigation, have indeed caused deep concerns to the international community. Somewhere in the region, there have emerged preferences for unilateral might, groundless claims, and actions that run counter to international law and stem from imposition and power politics.
I would like to draw your further attention to the fact that maritime transport and communications are growing in scale and having a much greater significance. It is projected that three fourths of global trade in the 21st century will be made via maritime routes and two thirds of that will be shipped across the East Sea. A single irresponsible action or instigation of conflict could well lead to the interruption offic in general were once fierce battlefields and deeply divided for decades. It might be said that the entire region ever thirsts for peace. To have the peace, development and prosperity, it is a must to build and consolidate strategic trust. In other words, we
need to build strategic trust for peace, cooperation and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific. That is what I wish to share with you at this forum.
such huge trade flow, thus causing unforeseeable consequences not only to regional economies but also to the entire world.
In the mean time, the threats of religious and ethnic conflicts, egoistic nationalism, secessionism, violence, terrorism, cyber security, etc. are still very much present. Global challenges like climate change, sea level rise, pandemics or water resources and the interests of upstream and downstream riparian countries of major rivers, etc. have become ever more acute.
In such a context, we could realize that such challenges and risks of conflict are not to be underestimated. We all understand that if this region falls into instability and especially, armed conflicts, there will be neither winner nor loser. Rather, all will lose. Suffice it to say, therefore, that working together to build and reinforce strategic trust for peace, cooperation and prosperity in the region is the shared interest of us all.
Secondly, to build strategic trust, we need to abide ourselves by international, uphold the responsibilities of nations, especially of major powers, and improve the efficiency of multilateral security cooperation mechanisms.
In the world history, many nations have suffered from irreparable losses when they fell victim to power politics, conflicts and wars. In today’s civilised world, the UN Charter, international law and the universal principles and norms serve as the entire mankind’s common values that must be respected. This also represents the precondition for strategic trust building.
Each state should always be a responsible stakeholder in the pursuit of common peace and security. Countries, either big or small, must build their relations on the basis of equality and mutual respect and at a higher level, on mutual strategic trust. Big states have a greater role to play and can contribute more but also shoulder bigger responsibilities in the cultivation and consolidation of such strategic trust. Besides, when it comes to the right voices and beneficial initiatives it does not matter whether they come from big or small countries. The principles of cooperation, equal and open dialogue in ASEAN and other forums advocated by ASEAN as well as this Shangri-La Dialogue are born from and maintained on such mindset.
I fully share the views of H.E. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia who said last year at this forum that small and medium countries could help lock major powers into a durable regional architecture. I also agree with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on what he said in a speech in Beijing last September that a reliable and responsible cooperation between the United States and China would
positively contribute to the common interest of the region. We all understand that the Asia-Pacific has sufficient room for all intra- and extra-regional countries to work together and share their interests. The future of the Asia-Pacific has been and will continue to be shaped by the roles and interactions by all countries in the region and the world, particularly by the major powers and certainly, by the indispensable role of ASEAN.
I believe that no regional country would oppose the strategic engagement of extra-regional powers if such engagement aims to enhance cooperation for peace, stability and development. We could expect more in the roles played by major powers, particularly the United States and China, the two powers having the biggest roles in and responsibilities to the future of their own as well as that of the region and the world. What important is that such expectation should be reinforced by strategic trust and such strategic trust must be reflected by concrete and constructive actions of these two nations.
We attach special attention to the roles played by a strongly rising China and the United States - a Pacific power. We expect and would support the United States and China once their strategies and actions conform to international law, respect the independence and sovereignty of nations, not only bringing about benefits to themselves but also contributing practically to our common peace, cooperation and prosperity.
What I want to further underline is that the existing regional cooperation mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meetings Plus (ADMM+) as well as this Shangri-La Dialogue offer the opportunities to foster multilateral security cooperation and find solutions to the arising challenges. Yet it could be said that what is still missing, or at least still insufficient, is the strategic trust in the implementation of those arrangements. The first and foremost important thing is to build a mutual trust in confronting challenges and their impacts, and in enhancing concrete, practical, multi-layer and multi-sector cooperation within both bilateral and multilateral frameworks. Once there is sufficient strategic trust, we could advance and expand cooperation and find solutions to any problem, even the most sensitive and difficult one.
Thirdly, when talking about peace, cooperation and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific, we cannot help but mention an ASEAN of unity and consensus, playing its central role in many multilateral cooperation forums.
It was hard to believe that a South East Asia once divided and embedded in conflicts during the Cold War could become a community of nations united in diversity and playing a central role in an evolving regional architecture like ASEAN today. The participation of Viet Nam in ASEAN in 1995 marked a new era of development in ASEAN towards building a common house for all South East Asian nations true to its name. The success of ASEAN is the fruit of a long persevering process to build trust, nurture the culture of dialogue and cooperation, and cultivate the sense of responsibility to the shared destiny of South East Asian nations.
ASEAN is proud to be an example for the principle of consensus and mutual trust in the making of its own decisions. That principle is the foundation for equality among the member states, whether it is Indonesia with nearly a fourth of a billion people or Brunei Darussalam with less than half a million. That principle also constitutes the foundation for extra-regional countries to place their trust in ASEAN as an ‘honest broker’ in guiding regional cooperation arrangements such as ARF, ADMM+, EAS, etc.
With a mindset of shared interests rather than that of a win-lose one, the enlargement of the East Asia Summit (EAS) to include Russia and the United States, the ADMM+ process that was put into reality in Viet Nam in 2010, and the success of EAS, ARF, ADMM in the years that follow have further consolidated the ground for a regional architecture in which ASEAN plays the central role, bringing about trust in the multilateral security cooperation in the region.
I also wish to refer to Myanmar as a vivid example of the outcome of the perseverance to dialogue on the basis of building and reinforcing trust, respecting the legitimate interests of each other, which helps open up a bright future not only for Myanmar but also for our whole region.
There have been profound lessons about the fundamentality of ASEAN’s consensus and unity in maintaining equal and mutually beneficial relations with partner countries and maximising its proactive role in handling strategic issues of the region. ASEAN will only be strong and able to build on its role when it is a united block. An ASEAN with no unity will by itself, lose its stand and will not be in the interest of any country, even ASEAN member states or its partners. We need an ASEAN united and strong, cooperating effectively with all countries to nurture peace and prosperity in the region, not an ASEAN in which member states are forced to take side with one country or the other for the individual benefit of their own in the relations with big powers. We have
the responsibility to multiply trust in the settlement of problems, enhance cooperation for mutual benefit, combine harmoniously our national interest with that of other nations and of the whole region.
Viet Nam and other ASEAN members always look forward to other countries, particularly the major powers, for the support to the AEAN Community’s central role, its principle of consensus and unity.
Back to the issue of the East Sea, ASEAN and China have travelled a long way with no less difficulty to come to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) adopted during the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh in 2002. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the DOC, ASEAN and China have agreed to work towards a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC). ASEAN and China need to uphold their responsibilities, mutually reinforce strategic trust, first and foremost by strictly implementing the DOC and doubling efforts to formulate a COC that conforms to international law and in particular, the 1982 UNCLOS.
We believe that ASEAN and its partners can work together to develop a feasible mechanism that could guarantee maritime security and safety and freedom of navigation in the region. In so doing, we will not only help ensure maritime security and safety, and freedom of navigation, and create conditions for the settlement of disputes but will also assert the fundamental principles in maintaining peace, enhancing development cooperation in the contemporary world.
As for non-traditional security and other challenges including water resources security on the common rivers, by building strategic trust, enhancing cooperation in harmonizing national interests with common interests, I believe that we will able to achieve successes, thus making practical contributions to peace, cooperation and development in the region.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Throughout her thousands of years of history, Viet Nam has suffered numerous pains and losses due to wars. Viet Nam always aspires to peace and to contributing to the consolidation of peace and enhancement of friendship and development cooperation in the region and the world. To have a genuine and lasting peace, the independence and sovereignty of any country, whether large or small, must be respected. Differences in interests, culture, etc. must be subject to open dialogues in a constructive spirit of mutual understanding and mutual respect.
We do not forget the past but need to put it behind to look forward to the future. With the tradition of offering friendship and hospitality, Viet Nam always desires to work with its partners to build and reinforce strategic trust for peace, cooperation and development on the basis of the principle of respect for independence, sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit.
Viet Nam persists with the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation and diversification of external relations, being a friend and reliable partner to all nations, and a responsible member of the international community. Viet Nam has spared no efforts to deepen relations with countries from all continents and established strategic partnerships, comprehensive partnerships with many. It is our desire to establish strategic partnerships with all the permanent members of the UN Security Council once the principles of independence, sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs of each other, mutual respect, equal and mutually beneficial cooperation are committed and seriously implemented.
At this prestigious forum, I have the honour to inform that Viet Nam has decided to participate in UN peacekeeping operations, first and foremost in such areas as military engineering, military medicine and military observation.
Viet Nam’s defence policy is that of peace and self-defence. Viet Nam will not be a military ally to any country and will not allow any country to set up military bases in Viet Nam. Viet Nam will not ally itself with any country to counter another. In the past years, sustained high economic growth has enabled Viet Nam to increase its national defence budget at a reasonable level but lower than that of economic growth. Viet Nam’s army modernisation is only for self-defence and the safeguard of our legitimate interests. It does not, in any way target any other country.
With regard to the present threats and challenges to regional security such as the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea and the East Sea, etc., Viet Nam perseveres to the principle of peaceful dispute settlement on the basis of international law, respecting the independence, sovereignty and the legitimate interests of each other. All parties concerned need to exercise self-restraint and must not resort to force or threat to use force.
Once again, Viet Nam reiterates its compliance with the ASEAN Six-point Statement on the East Sea and will do its utmost to work together with ASEAN and China to seriously observe the DOC and soon arrive at the COC. Viet Nam asserts and will protect its legitimate rights and interests in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Peace, cooperation and development represent the interest, the ardent aspirations and the common future of all countries and peoples. In the open spirit of the Shangri-La Dialogue, I would call upon you all to join hands and make concrete actions to build and reinforce strategic trust for an Asia-Pacific region of peace, cooperation and prosperity.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.