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(Opinion) Neutrality is key to ASEAN centrality

2015-03-25 08:42:52       source:China Daily

By Zhou Bo


March 24, 2015


"ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh recently told The Manila Times that China's claim in South China Sea based on the nine-dash-line was illegal, and that the happenings in the South China Sea were further complicating the situation and impeding the development of the ASEAN community. His remarks were immediately criticized by China's Foreign Ministry.


Le wears two hats, one as a senior Vietnamese diplomat and the other as ASEAN secretary general. It is not difficult to imagine what a Vietnamese diplomat might say about Vietnam's maritime dispute with China (especially to a newspaper in Manila, which too has a dispute with Beijing). But what if he made the remark as ASEAN secretary general? If his remark represents the views of ASEAN, then it should be seen as a new and dangerous move."


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