Biden to Visit Hanoi to Strengthen US-Vietnam Relations – Next month, President Joe Biden is scheduled to travel to Vietnam where he will hold discussions with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and other prominent Vietnamese officials. The White House revealed this information on Monday. The president’s visit is planned for September 10th in Hanoi. This visit is an extension of his itinerary after he participates in the annual Group of 20 leaders’ summit in India.
“The leaders will explore opportunities to promote the growth of a technology-focused and innovation-driven Vietnamese economy, expand our people-to-people ties through education exchanges and workforce development programs, combat climate change, and increase peace, prosperity, and stability in the region,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
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On Monday, the White House additionally disclosed that President Biden intends to visit Alaska while returning from Vietnam. The purpose of this stop is to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. During his time in Anchorage at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, he will partake in a memorial ceremony joined by members of the military, first responders, and their families, as informed by Jean-Pierre.
The announcement regarding the Vietnam visit follows several weeks of President Biden alluding to the possibility of such a trip. He mentioned during a campaign reception in Freeport, Maine, on July 29th, that the leader of Vietnam had expressed interest in meeting with him. He then told donors at a New Mexico reception earlier this month that he would “be going to Vietnam shortly because Vietnam wants to change our relationship and become a partner.”
“I’ve gotten a call from the head of Vietnam, who desperately wants to meet me when I go to the G20,” Biden said at the Freeport reception. “He wants to elevate us to a major partner, along with Russia and China. What do you think that’s about? No, I’m not joking.” President Biden has emphasized the importance of enhancing and broadening connections in Southeast Asia, responding to escalating U.S. apprehensions concerning China’s increasing military and economic influence in the region.
Concurrently, both President Biden and his advisors have frequently reiterated their intention to enhance communication between the two governments. This aims to address issues of common interest, such as global endeavors to combat climate change, while averting unnecessary conflicts and misunderstandings. For years, the United States has actively pursued the strengthening of ties with Vietnam.
Despite Washington’s overtures, Vietnam has approached these advances with caution. Notably, both China and Russia have held significant roles as trading partners for Vietnam. The announcement of the Vietnam visit follows President Biden’s recent hosting of the leaders of Japan and South Korea earlier this month.
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This historic summit, held at the U.S. presidential retreat of Camp David, served to solidify a novel economic and security agreement. President Biden has diligently worked towards fostering a closer relationship between South Korea and Japan, traditional adversaries. This alignment stems from their mutual concerns over Chinese assertiveness in the Pacific and North Korea’s nuclear program.