South China Sea spat a big test for Vietnam as new Asean chair

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Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made a pitch for a "cohesive and responsive Asean" as his country took on the role of Asean chair for the coming year.

"It's time for us to think and act as a united and cohesive body so as to respond effectively and develop sustainably in a constantly changing world. Think as a community, act for the community," he said this week. His call is timely and highly significant in view of the challenges countries in the region face as they increasingly contend with full-spectrum US-China strategic rivalry.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2019, with the headline South China Sea spat a big test for Vietnam as new Asean chair. Subscribe