Vietnam, US develop dynamic, effective ties: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
|Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Hanoi, on April 15, 2023. (Photo: WVR/Nguyen Hong)|
On April 15, talking to the press, US Secretary of State Blinken, who has been on an official visit to Vietnam from April 14 to 16, said that he was in Vietnam at the behest of President Joe Biden to further broaden and deepen that partnership following the President’s phone talks with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong last month and building on earlier high-level visits, including from Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, USAID Administrator Samantha Power, and recently members of the US Congress.
Throughout his engagements on April 15, he focused on how the US can continue to support Vietnam’s success – which is good for the Vietnamese people, Americans, and the entire region.
He stressed the two countries are cooperating for common interests, and that the US believes by supporting Vietnam’s wishes, it can promote its own goals, from creating jobs for people and enhancing the strength of US enterprises to making more strides to resolve the climate crisis and prevent pandemics.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the US Embassy Complex in Hanoi on April 15, 2023. (Photo: Minh Quan)
The two sides also discussed mutual respect for the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the close partnership via regional economic frameworks, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) that the US hosts this year and the Mekong - US partnership.
The US highly valued Vietnam’s indispensable role in the settlement of development challenges in the Mekong River region, US Secretary of State Blinken stressed, noting that the US is developing the bilateral economic partnership to help Vietnam boost important reforms in the fields of labour, intellectual property, and trade fairness, thus turning the Southeast Asian country into one of the fast-growing economies in the world.
The US believes that Vietnam can achieve its goal of becoming a connected and high-income country by 2045 by pursuing growth that lifts all communities while building resilience to adapt to climate change, according to the diplomat.
He added the US is activating the new bilateral climate initiatives that Vice President Harris announced during her visit to Vietnam in August 2021. It is capitalising on such regional frameworks as the Just Energy Transition Partnership that Vietnam recently joined, in which it will invest 15.5 billion USD in helping Vietnam achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and carry out the Japan - US - Mekong Power Partnership.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the press conference at the US Embassy in Hanoi, on April 15. (Photo: WVR/Minh Quan)
The US is also cooperating in assisting Vietnam to build the public health capacity, including the establishment of a CDC Vietnam country office, the Secretary of State said, describing the close and fruitful cooperation amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a vivid demonstration of their ties in the period needing mutual assistance most.
He reaffirmed the US respect to Vietnam’s political institutions, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, as well as support for a strong, independent, resilient, and prosperous Vietnam.
The diplomat also underscored the US’s commitment to address war consequences, including joint works to clear unexploded ordnance and the new 73 million USD contract to treat contaminated soil and sediment at Bien Hoa Air Base.
US State Secretary Blinken held that the two countries have made another step forwards to strengthen relations by breaking ground for the new US embassy campus, which once completed, will match the vision for the future of the bilateral partnership.
The US Secretary of State expressed his belief that the Vietnam - US ties will develop more strongly in the coming decades.