New phase, new space for Vietnam - US cooperation: Major Gen. Le Van Cuong

WVR - In an interview with The World and Vietnam Report on the eve of the State visit by US President Joe Biden to Vietnam, Major General Le Van Cuong, former Director of Institute of Strategic Studies at the Ministry of Public Security, stressed that the visit would open the new phase and new space to promote Vietnam - US cooperations in every aspects in the time to come.
New phase, new space for Vietnam - U.S cooperation: Major Gen. Le Van Cuong
Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong met US Vice President Joe Biden in 2015 in Washington DC. (Photo: MOFA)

At the invitation of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, President of the United States Joe Biden is scheduled to pay a State visit to Vietnam on September 10-11.

With regards to the context of the visit, the Major General Le Van Cuong said that the visit is not incidental, it starts from the super-power position of the United States, and Vietnam’s role and position.

Firstly, in its global strategy, the US is currently focusing on mobilizing every domestic and external sources to maintain its position, enhance its influence, “restart” its relations in Asia, Oceania, and Transatlantic. Among these, ASEAN and its state members certainly are the U.S’s important destination.

Secondly, because of Vietnam’s position and role. Mr. Le Van Cuong noted that many experts hold that Vietnam possesses not only the power of a country with 100 million people, a dynamic economy, abundant source of young labor, etc., but is also a nation with the high consciousness, mettle, vitality of overcoming difficulties and obstacles and moving forward.

Besides, Vietnam has established the framework of relations of Strategic Partnership (include Comprehensive Strategic Partnership) and Comprehensive Partnership with 30 nations. It’s the intangible power to construct the new position for Vietnam, along with the position of an economy growing strongly despite the global downward trend as well as its growing role in ASEAN.

In the context of the current complicated international situation, the fact that Vietnam is ready to promote relations with major powers, in the spirit of equal cooperation and mutual benefit, without any hesitation also displays Vietnam's strength and mettle, Cuong said.

The former Director of Institute of Strategic Studies at the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security noted that a flight of a major power’s leader from the Eastern Pacific to Hanoi is not a simple thing. It starts from the need of the United States in realizing its national security strategy.

"It is worth to remember, that at the Australian Parliament House, in November 2011, for the first time, US President Barack Obama declared to pivot the U.S interests and sources from the Middle East to Asia - Pacific. Then in 2017, in the Vietnam's central city of Da Nang, the U.S President Donald Trump declared the “Indo - Pacific Strategy Free and Open” at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. In my opinion, it’s the development process of US strategy”, Cuong said.

He noted that under the President Biden’s administration, over the last 2 years, Vietnam - US relations developed more firmly and stably than ever before, either in the fields of economics or politics, diplomacy or defense and security. Joe Biden's administration has not missed any contacts with Vietnam. Recently, many US leaders visited Vietnam (Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury, etc.); security-defense relations have been actively promoted with many US aircraft carriers and warships docking at Cam Ranh, Da Nang, etc.

“It can be said that US appreciates Vietnam’s role not only by words (through declared strategies and policies), but also in concretized activities through diplomatic and military, security, and economic channels. I think that is a substantive basis and foundation to create space for President Biden's visit this time. Without such bustling activities, it would have been difficult to lead to this visit”, Cuong added.

Talking of the significance of the visit, the Major General affirmed that the visit reflects the far-sighted foreign policy of the Communist Party of Vietnam. It is that Vietnam do not choose sides. While strengthening relations with Russia, Vietnam continues to promote relations with European countries and the US, and maintains momentum in developing relations with China.

It is also the power, potential and mettle of Vietnam that made the visit become real, Cuong said. In relations with the US, Vietnam is very open and transparent. Whether or not the two countries upgrade the relations into the highest, deepest, widest level, whether it is the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Strategic Partnership or Comprehensive Partnership as this moment, it is first and foremost for the benefit of Vietnam and the US.

“Objectively, the visit would not jeopardize other nation’s interests, the world and region would only benefit. Many countries will support us in this effort”, stated Mr. Le Van Cuong.

He also expressed his belief that the bilateral between the two countries will move forward, in every aspects, from economics, politics; defense - security, opening a new phase, and new space to promote Vietnam - U.S cooperations.

In which, he stressed on the fields of science and technology and human resources training.

“In the context of the current complicated international situation, it would benefit Vietnam. I hope in the coming years, there will be many high-technology projects from the US in Vietnam".

Moreover, US’s education is said to be at the world top level. Currently, Vietnam has more than 20,000 students studying in the US, and by 2025, this number will be about 30,000-40,000. The chance for Vietnamese students will be more open.

New phase, new space for Vietnam - U.S cooperation: Major Gen. Le Van Cuong
Major Gen. Le Van Cuong, former Director of Institute of Strategic Studies at Ministry of Public Security Le Van Cuong. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

Referring to the obstacles facing the bilateral ties between Vietnam-US, Mr. Le Van Cuong said in politics, the presence of chalenges and obstacles is natural.

In order to overcome the barriers, the two countries need to persevere in their stance, choosing the United Nations Charter and international law, and for the benefit of businesses and people of the two countries.

The two sides also need to cooperate more closely in the political and diplomatic fields, both bilaterally and multilaterally. Information coordinating and sharing are also needed, for facilitating for bilateral cooperation, he said.

Vietnam also needs to maintain stable relations with both the United States and China, based on the principle of defending Vietnam's independence and sovereignty, the principles of the United Nations Charter. “Absolutely do not jeopardize sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, not departing from the United Nations Charter, international law and always be open and transparent”, the former Director emphasised.

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(translated by Gia Nguyen)