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The Indo-Pacific: An Opportunity for Vietnam / Claire Thị Liên TRẦN

Asia’s Post-Pandemic Order and Integration: Outlook of ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific at Crossroads

The Indo-Pacific : An Opportunity for Vietnam
Claire Thị Liên TRẦN, Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC), Bangkok

This paper shows how the Indo-Pacific strategy has become a major issue of the Vietnamese foreign policy. More than ever, Vietnam seeks multilateralism to manage its necessary political and economic partnership with the neighbouring China and its military pressure in the South China Sea. This paper highlights the opportunities for Vietnam’s economic, security and diplomatic to play a significant role in the Indo-Pacific and defend its own strategic priorities : rules-based regional order without hegemony, freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea and inclusive regional open trade. It also focuses on its efforts to maintain a favourable regional balance of powers through a strong partnership with the US and the other key players in the Indo-Pacific region (India, Japan and Australia in particular). At least, it suggests that the Indo-Pacific strategy contributes to enhance Vietnam’s leadership as an emerging middle power in ASEAN and in the international order.


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Session 3 / The Indo-Pacific from Southeast Asian Perspectives : Centrality and Multilateralism in Uncertain Times
Chair : Dr Stéphane DOVERT, Founder of IRASEC

The Indo-Pacific considered as a maritime “super-region” acknowledge the fact that the Indian Ocean has replaced the Atlantic as the globe’s busiest and most strategically significant trade corridor, whose geographical center in Southeast Asia. The “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” in 2019 asserted the “ASEAN Centrality” and its willingness to weigh as a significant player in the Indo-Pacific changing landscape, at the heart of new regional dynamics. These last years, ASEAN has defended an alternative position of “dialogue and cooperation, and not rivalry with China” in the context of Trump’s trade disputes and conflicts between US and China. This session questions the Southeast Asia countries and ASEAN multilateral strategy, in the recent changing context with the new Biden administration’s commitment in the Indo-Pacific. And to what extent will ASEAN countries and institutions be able to defend a stable multipolar world order in the Indo-Pacific region without isolating China, and avoid, as during the Cold War, being the center theatre of conflicts ?

“Asia’s Post-Pandemic Order and Integration : Outlook of ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific at Crossroads” is an international conference organized by The Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC-CNRS) with the ASEAN Studies Center (Chulalongkorn University) in Bangkok, and the ASEAN-India Centre (AIC), RIS in New Delhi.
8-9 July 2021 - Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok