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US Secretary of State Blinken arrives in Vietnam for official visit

US Secretary of State Blinken arrives in Vietnam for official visit

Saturday, April 15, 2023, 10:58 GMT+7
US Secretary of State Blinken arrives in Vietnam for official visit
A photo shows U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken waving at Vietnamese and U.S. high-ranking officials. Photo: Tuoi Tre

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Friday evening, starting his first official visit to Vietnam in office at the invitation of Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son.

His visit, which is set to wrap up on Sunday, is aimed at marking the 10th anniversary of the two nations’ comprehensive partnership. 

A photo shows U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken waving at Vietnamese and U.S. high-ranking officials. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A photo shows U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken waving at Vietnamese and U.S. high-ranking officials. Photo: Tuoi Tre

US expects to expand partnership

The top U.S. diplomat is scheduled to meet with Vietnam’s Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Minister of Foreign Affairs Son on Saturday.

He will attend a ceremony to turn the first sod at the site to build the new U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, visit Hanoi University of Science and Technology, and take part in some activities.

His visit came after a phone call between Vietnamese Party chief Trong and U.S. President Joe Biden on March 29.

During the phone talk, Party chief Trong emphasized the strategy of “forgetting the past, overcoming differences, promoting common points, and moving toward the future in an equal, honest, and mutually beneficial manner.”

Meanwhile, U.S. President Biden affirmed the respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institutions of Vietnam, seeing the respect as a key factor in the two nations’ ties.

The U.S. Department of State said in a press release on Blinken’s Vietnam visit on Friday that the U.S. agency hoped to “expand the partnership with Vietnam in the coming years.”

Via his visit, many outstanding achievements made by the two countries in war consequence settlement, security, trade, education, climate change and clean energy will be thrown back.

The U.S. diplomat’s visit will also factor in discussions about solutions against climate change.

Le Chi Dung (C), head of the Americas Department of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, greets U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Le Chi Dung (C), head of the Americas Department of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, greets U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vietnam plays a key role in region: US

The Biden administration has seen many high-ranking official delegations visit Vietnam since the start of 2023. 

Among U.S. top officials are U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, who traveled to Vietnam in February, Samantha Power, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley.

Speaking at a press briefing on April 10, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink said that Vietnam is important to the United States.

The Southeast Asian country supports the world’s security based on international standards, Kritenbrink said, adding that many major U.S. enterprises are expanding their reach in Vietnam. 

Vietnam also plays a key role in global supply chains, he added.

“We consider Vietnam the United States’ reliable partner in the Mekong region, which encompasses Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China, a leader of Southeast Asia, and a key member of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework,” said the Assistant Secretary of State.

The U.S. is Vietnam’s largest buyer, spending over US$109 billion on imports from the latter in 2022. 

Besides, the U.S. is Vietnam’s second largest trade partner, and ranks 11th among 40 nations and territories with the highest foreign investment in Vietnam.

U.S. investors have got involved in more than 1,200 projects in Vietnam, with total pledged capital of over VND258 trillion ($11 billion).

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper (L) shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Tuoi Tre
U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper (L) shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Tieu Bac - Duy Linh - Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre News

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