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Vietnam central to US strategy for Indo-Pacific region: US official

Vietnam central to US strategy for Indo-Pacific region: US official

Thursday, October 13, 2022, 17:32 GMT+7
Vietnam central to US strategy for Indo-Pacific region: US official
This image shows U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Kritenbrink talking with students at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in Hanoi on October 12, 2022, the last day of his three-day visit to Vietnam. Photo: Son Nguyen / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam plays a central role in the U.S.’s Indo-Pacific strategy and is among the seven countries Washington will give training and support within its maritime security initiative for the region, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Kritenbrink has announced.

Assistant Secretary Kritenbrink delivered the message during his talk with students at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam as well as at the press briefing in Hanoi on Wednesday afternoon before wrapping his three-day visit to Vietnam starting on Monday.

The diplomat, in charge of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, affirmed that Vietnam’s success is part of the national interest of the U.S. and that the Vietnam - U.S. comprehensive partnership is based on mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and political systems.

The entire U.S. strategy for the Indo-Pacific is based on building the capacity of its partners and allies to promote common goals and interests, and this strategy takes Vietnam as its center, Kritenbrink stated. 

Since Vietnam and the U.S. normalized bilateral relations 27 years ago, what the two countries achieved today in their ties is the result of braveness, goodwill, and hard work of dedicated people in both nations, Kritenbrink said.

He also briefed on U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent initiatives for the Indo-Pacific and on the activities that have raised security concerns in the region.

As far as the U.S. knows, Vietnam is facing special challenges in the region, not only on land but also at sea, Kritenbrink said, referring to disputes as well as recent incidents in the East Vietnam Sea that cause concerns for relevant countries in Southeast Asia.

In such a context, the U.S. is committed to doing all possible things to support maritime security and raise maritime domain awareness in the region, Kritenbrink affirmed.

The U.S.'s Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Initiative identifies Vietnam as one of seven countries where Washington will offer training and support, the diplomat said.

The U.S. is pleased to work closely with the Vietnam Coast Guard in enhancing the ability to detect and respond to activities at sea, he added.

He emphasized that the U.S. will continue to assist Vietnam not only in strengthening maritime security but also in responding to other emerging non-traditional challenges.

The U.S. strategy for the Indo-Pacific sets out a positive vision for the region and the Vietnam - U.S. partnership is an integral part thereof, Kritenbrink said.

That the two former enemies have become friends will send a positive message and image to the world, he commented.

The assistant secretary affirmed that the U.S. will not ask any countries to take sides – an issue that has concerned some Southeast Asian countries.

In response to the questions by students relating to the challenges to the Vietnam - U.S relationship, Kritenbrink said the ties face some challenges but both sides are doing a lot of positive things and that he felt optimistic about the future of the Southeast Asian nation.

“We are committed to the development of a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam. We know the U.S. is stronger, more prosperous, and secure, when we have successful like-minded partners working toward the same objectives,” the U.S. Embassy cited Kritenbrink as speaking.

Kritenbrink’s visit to Vietnam was aimed at exploring ways to deepen bilateral cooperation, and “high-level visits are a demonstration of the importance that the U.S. places on this bilateral relationship,” the U.S. Embassy said on its verified Facebook page.

Since Hanoi and Washington normalized diplomatic ties in 1995, the bilateral relations have constantly developed fruitfully in all fields, especially since the two countries set up the Vietnam-U.S. comprehensive partnership in 2013.

The partnership has for the first time set the principles of cooperation based on mutual benefits, equality, and respect for each other's political institutions, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

Both nations are looking forward to celebrating 10 years of their comprehensive partnership in 2023, according to the embassy.

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Vinh Tho - Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre News


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