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US to build $1.2bn new embassy compound in Hanoi

US to build $1.2bn new embassy compound in Hanoi

Thursday, August 26, 2021, 16:30 GMT+7
US to build $1.2bn new embassy compound in Hanoi
This image shows U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris witnessing the signing of the lease agreement for a new compound of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi on August 25, 2021. Photo: Ha Thao / Tuoi Tre

The U.S. Embassy in Vietnam and a local agency have signed a lease agreement for building a new embassy complex in Hanoi, in the presence of visiting U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. 

Chargé d' Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam Christopher Klein and Bui Duy Cuong, director of the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment, signed the agreement at a ceremony on Wednesday.

Chairman of the city’s administration Chu Ngoc Anh and U.S. Vice President Harris, who is on a three-day visit to Vietnam starting Tuesday evening, were among the participant in the ceremony.

The new embassy campus, to be built at a cost of US$1.2 billion, will be located on a 3.2-hectare land lot in Cau Giay District under a 99-year lease.

The compound’s architecture is inspired by Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Quang Ninh Province, while the landscapes around it highlight the tradition of rice cultivation, like the topography of the Red River and the Mekong Delta.

The U.S. Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations is responsible for location selection, design, construction, relocation, and management in relation to the new compound, while U.S.-based EYP Architecture & Engineering Group is in charge of architecture.

The new embassy campus will be a modern urban space embodying the culture and vitality of the Vietnamese capital city, and become a symbol of cooperation, friendship, and development for years to come, the embassy said.

The project is in the design process and its groundbreaking will take place at an appropriate time in the future, the diplomatic agency added.

A senior U.S. official told the press this event will help the U.S. and Vietnam become more connected in the future.

"The U.S. Embassy celebrated the 25th anniversary of normalization in 2020, and formalizing the lease agreement allows us to look ahead to the next 25 years and beyond of U.S. engagement in Vietnam," the official said.

After the two countries normalized their diplomatic relations in 1995, the Vietnamese government has been committed to giving the U.S. a site to build its embassy in Hanoi, according to the U.S. Embassy.

In 2019, both sides agreed to the current location for the new compound of the embassy.

In other news related to the activities of visiting Vice President Harris, the official announced a U.S donation of an additional one million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses to Vietnam at her meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Wednesday.

The U.S. had donated five million Moderna vaccine jabs to Vietnam.

On the same day, Harris attended the launching ceremony for the Southeast Asia regional office of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Hanoi.

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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