The elevation of the Vietnam-U.S. bilateral relations to comprehensive strategic partnership makes the U.S. the fifth country to see its relationship with the Southeast Asian country reach the highest level in the latter’s international relations, following China, Russia, India, and South Korea.
Vietnam's Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and U.S. President Joe Biden reached a consensus to lift the two countries’ relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership during the latter’s two-day state visit to Vietnam, which started on Sunday.
Thus, the relationship between the two countries was upgraded to comprehensive strategic partnership from comprehensive partnership, skipping the strategic partnership level.
The strategic partnership is a model of cooperation of crucial importance and strategic and long-term nature between countries and between countries and international organizations.
The model was popularized after the Cold War, taking place between 1947 and 1991, according to some researchers.
Due to Vietnam’s policy of multi-lateralization and diversification of international relations, the strategic partnership is featured under the forms of strategic partnership, comprehensive strategic partnership, and strategic partnership in specific fields.
As a case in point, Vietnam created the strategic partnership on response to climate change and water management with the Netherlands, the highest level in the country’s bilateral relations in this sector.
Parties of a strategic partnership have a demand for enhancing cooperation, attach more importance to each other’s strategic benefits, and share interests to head toward strategic beliefs.
Meanwhile, entities involved in a comprehensive strategic partnership determine to share long-term benefits, support each other and boost the intensive and comprehensive cooperation in all sectors of mutual benefits, from trade and investment to technology and energy.
Vietnam establishes a comprehensive strategic partnership with countries which are of critical importance to its security, prosperity, and international position, according to Dr. Le Hong Diep from the ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute, a research center of socio-political, security, and economic trends and developments in Southeast Asia.
|Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (L) shakes hands with U.S. President Joe Biden during the former’s visit to the U.S. in 2015, when Biden was U.S. Vice-President. Photo: Vietnam News Agency|
Earlier, Vietnam established a comprehensive strategic partnership with China in 2008, Russia in 2012, India in 2016, and South Korea in 2022.
The Southeast Asian nation has entered into strategic partnerships with over 10 countries, specifically Japan and Spain in 2009; the UK in 2010; Germany in 2011; Italy, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and France in 2013, Malaysia and the Philippines in 2015, Australia in 2018, and New Zealand in 2020.
Also, Vietnam currently has 10 comprehensive partners, including Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Denmark, Myanmar, Canada, Hungary, Brunei, and the Netherlands.
U.S. President Biden arrived in Hanoi on Sunday afternoon for a state visit to Vietnam lasting until Monday at the invitation of Vietnamese Party leader Trong.
The Vietnamese Party chief later presided over a welcome ceremony at the highest level for President Biden and the two officials attended a dialogue where they agreed to elevate the Vietnam-U.S. relations to comprehensive strategic partnership.
This is the first time a U.S. president has paid a visit to the Southeast Asian country at the invitation of a General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
The trip takes place at a time when both sides celebrate the 10th anniversary of their comprehensive partnership.
Vietnam and the U.S. established diplomatic relations in November 1995, and upgraded their relations to a comprehensive partnership in July 2013.