US President Joe Biden's address to press following talks with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong
|US President Joe Biden speaks at the press conference following talks with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (Photo: WVR/Nguyen Hong)|
PRESIDENT BIDEN: Secretary General, thank you for welcoming me to Vietnam for this truly historic moment.
Today, we can trace a 50-year arc of progress in the relationship between our nations — from conflict to normalization to this new elevated status that will be a force for prosperity and security in one of the most consequential regions in the world.
We are evolving our partnership directly to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Vietnam’s highest tier of partnership. And we’re excited about that. A critical step for our nations that reflects the strength of our relationship as we take on the challenges that matter most to the future of our region and, quite frankly, to the world.
We’re deepening our cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, particularly around building a more resilient semiconductor supply chain. We’re expanding our economic partnership, spurring even greater trade and investment between our nations.
For example, last year, a Vietnamese company signed a 4 billion USD deal to build electric vehicles and batteries in North Carolina in the United States, which will create more than 7,000 jobs in the United States of America.
World-class Vietnamese technology companies are going public on the U.S. stock market. And we’re welcoming more important new deals during this visit.
We’re working to tackle the climate crisis and to accelerate Vietnam’s clean energy transition; strengthening global health security and advance treatments for cancer and HIV/AIDS; enhance our security cooperation, including countering trafficking in persons.
I also raised the importance of respect for human rights as a priority for both my administration and the American people. And we’ll continue to — our candid dialogue on that regard.
Perhaps most vital to our future, we are doubling down on our people-to-people ties. They’re the very heart of our partnership. That includes millions of Vietnamese Americans who strengthen communities all across the United States of America every single day and are looking forward to the outcome of this meeting.
Just this year, the U.S. supported the Fulbright University in Vietnam, graduated its first class, and they’re working to expand its new campus. One of my oldest and closest friends, Tommy Vallely, is very much involved in that.
Ladies and gentlemen, we’re also investing in strengthening the skilled STEM workforce, promoting educational exchanges and collaboration among our scientists, our entrepreneurs, innovators to better work together to capture the enormous opportunities — and I mean enormous opportunities — of this new age of technology.
Let me close with this. All the progress over the past 50 years — none of it was inevitable. It required years of hard work from leaders in both countries, including my friend who’s here today, the former senator and secretary of state, now Special Presidential Envoy on Climate, John Kerry.
We got it done because of another friend who is no longer with us — I miss him — whose memorial we’ll be visiting tomorrow, the late John McCain.
Both men saw so clearly, as I and so many others did, how much we had to gain by working together to overcome a bitter past.
Years later, I remember the hard work it took, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to be able to normalize relations in 1995.
And 10 years ago, when I was Vice President, we reached a new milestone for the launch of our initial Comprehensive Partnership. I’m incredibly proud of how our nations and our people have built trust and understanding over the decades and worked to repair the painful legacy the war left on both our nations.
It’s work that we pledge today to continue — clearing unexploded ordnance, remediating environmental damage from dioxin, expanding support for people with disabilities, and accounting for every American service member still missing in action in Vietnam as well as the fallen or missing Vietnam soldiers from that war.
Our cooperation on these painful issues, as well as on forging new legacies, is one of shared peace and prosperity. It’s a testament — I mean this — it’s a testament for the resilience and spirit of both our peoples.
It’s a powerful reminder of all we can accomplish when we’re able to transcend the pain of the past and embrace a future of progress, one grounded on unity of our people.
So, thank you again, Secretary General. Vietnam is a critical power in the world and a bellwether for — in this vital region. And I look forward to continuing this new chapter in the story of our nation.