Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences

International scientific conference: ASIAN – Major power relations under the 46th President of United States of America


On October 14th, 2021, at the Headquarters at No.1 Lieu Giai Str., Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi, the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (Academy - VASS) held an International conference in the form of online combined face-to-face with the theme "ASIAN – Major power relations under the 46th President of United States of America" The workshop focused on identifying US policies with Southeast Asia (ASEAN) under US President Joe Biden; the US policy impact on Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian relations with major countries; ASEAN cooperation prospects and actions of Vietnam.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Huy Hoang, Director of ISEAS delivered an introductory speech at the Workshop

Attending the conference were Dr. Dang Xuan Thanh, Vice President of the Academy; Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Huy Hoang, Director of the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies; Dr. Vo Xuan Vinh, Vice President; representatives of a number of functional departments, former leaders and leaders of international research institutes under VASS (Vietnam Institute of American Studies, Institute of Chinese Studies, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Institute for European Studies) with the online participation of a large number of experts, scientists, scholars, and students from countries (India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand); staff of the Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand; researchers, lecturers and students from universities across the country such as University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Vietnam National University, Hanoi), Hanoi University of Education, University of Education of Hue University, Duy Tan University (Da Nang), Ba Ria-Vung Tau University, Saigon University, and Nguyen Tat Thanh University (Ho Chi Minh City).

On behalf of VASS leaders, giving the opening speech at the Conference, Dr. Dang Xuan Thanh warmly welcomes the large number of delegates attending in form of face-to-face and online. VASS’s Vice President emphasized that, with its geostrategic position in the midst of the strategic competition of major countries, ASEAN played a central role and an important role in many regional cooperation mechanisms. ASEAN's relations with major countries and partners were very important to peace, stability and prosperous development of the region. History had proven that each time the US government changed its leader, it had a great impact on the world, including Southeast Asia. Each president always had to adjust the policy of the United States towards Southeast Asia. Dr. Dang Xuan Thanh affirmed that, under any president (from President Obama, Donald Trump and now to President Joe Biden), Southeast Asia had always been a region of certain importance in regional policy of the US.

Overview of the Online International Conference

Dr. Dang Xuan Thanh also emphasized the President Biden administration's approach and importance to the Strategic Partnership with ASEAN in a more skillful and methodical way to achieve the goal of gathering and increasing collective strength in in handling challenges through the “America Back” strategy. Adjustments in the US’s Southeast Asia policy under President Joe Biden would certainly have impacts on Southeast Asia's relations with major countries besides the US such as China, India, Japan, the EU, Russia and some other countries.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Huy Hoang, Director of ISEAS delivered an introductory speech at the Workshop

In the introductory speech at the Conference, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Huy Hoang welcomed the attendance of a large number of delegates in both face-to-face and online formats. Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Huy Hoang emphasized that the US policy change towards Southeast Asia had had a strong impact on relations between ASEAN and the US and between ASEAN and other major countries. Within the framework of the workshop, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Huy Hoang suggested that scientists and delegates focus on discussing four main contents: (1) The Joe Biden administration's approach to Southeast Asia (Southeast Asia policy) in the overall landscape of Asia Policy and the US Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy. Distinguish the similarities and differences in Joe Biden's Southeast Asia policy compared with previous Presidents, since Barack Obama; (2) Identify the impact of the Southeast Asia policy of President Biden on the foreign policy of ASEAN countries; (3) Assess the status of relations between ASEAN and major countries, especially in the context of fierce US-China competition and the raging Covid-19 pandemic; (4) Consider the influence of those relationships on Southeast Asia/ASEAN in general and on Vietnam in particular. What policy responses should Vietnam have to take advantage of those relationships.

12 presentations presented at the Workshop were divided into 02 discussion sessions. Speakers (Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Huy Hoang, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Cu Chi Loi, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Xuan Trung from Vietnam Institute of American Studies, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Tran Khanh Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Duy Dung from Institute for Southeast Asian Studies; Prof. Dr. Pankaj K Jha, OP Jindal University, India; Prof. Dr. Chiung-Chiu Huang, Taipei Political University; Dr. Roger Liu, FLAME University, Pune, India; Dr. Phi Vinh Tuong, Institute of World Economics and Politics; Dr. Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Institute of China Studies; Dr. Nguyen Thi Tham, Institute of Northeast Asian Studies; MSc. Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, Institute for European Studies) focused on presenting outstanding issues related to Southeast Asian relations with major countries (the US, China, Japan, India, the European Union) and Korea, and at the same time analyzing US-China competition trend in Southeast Asia; strategies of small countries in Asia - Pacific in the era of major power competition to draw policy implications for Vietnam. Experts also made profound comments on the prospect of Southeast Asian relations with major countries by 2025.

Souvenir photo of delegates at the Conference

The conference was a valuable forum for academic exchange. The delegates highly appreciated the importance of ASEAN's role and position of ASEAN cooperation in the regional cooperation structure and in promoting ASEAN cooperation with major countries. In the context of increasingly tense US-China competition, ASEAN is demonstrating its unique and special role and position. Countries with interests in the region all want to promote relations with ASEAN. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is very necessary to further promote ASEAN relations with partners to both cooperate in the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic, and contribute to building Southeast Asia into a region of peace, stability and prosperity.

In addition to the presence at the Hall of 20 scholars, the Conference also had the online participation of nearly 470 experts, researchers, lecturers, students of national and international universities and research institutions.

Nguyen Thu Trang


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