Strides in Vietnam – US relations

Although 25 years is not a long time in the history of the bilateral diplomatic relationship, Vietnam and the US have gained substantial results in cooperation, which have impressed the international community. Overcoming the difficult times after the war, the two countries have become reliable partners based on equality and mutual respect.
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Delegates at the launching of activities to celebrate the 25th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam and the US are implementing activities to celebrate the 25th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations (1995-2020). At the launching ceremony recently held in Washington DC, Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc stressed that, 25 years after the establishment of diplomatic ties and seven years after the establishment of their comprehensive partnership, Vietnam-US relations have seen robust development in many key areas of cooperation, ranging from politics-diplomacy, economy-trade-investment, science-technology, education-training, and settlement of post-war consequences to defence-security, locality-to-locality relations, and people-to-people exchanges.

Leaders of the two countries have regularly exchanged visits with commitments to respect each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political regimes. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was the first leader of an ASEAN country to visit the US after US President Donald Trump took office, while President Trump was the first US President to visit Vietnam twice during his tenure.

In addition, policy dialogue frameworks have been expanded, contributing to building mutual trust.

Recently, US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell emphasised that bilateral cooperation in economy, trade and investment has seen remarkable strides, holding a focal role and serving as an impetus for strengthening the countries’ comprehensive partnership.

The bilateral trade turnover, which stood at only US$450 million in 1995, has now surged to US$60 billion. For several consecutive years, the US has been Vietnam’s largest export market while Vietnam is the market in which the US’s exports grew at the fastest pace.

People-to-people relationships have laid a solid foundation for bilateral cooperation. 25 years ago, Vietnam welcomed less than 60,000 Americans every year. Now, the figure has reached nearly 700,000. Meanwhile, about 30,000 young Vietnamese people are pursuing their studies in the US, making Vietnam the sixth largest source of international students in the country.

Positive results have also been seen in the bilateral defence-security partnership, particularly in cooperation to address post-war consequences. The two sides have effectively cooperated in important projects, such as those on dioxin clean-up at Bien Hoa Airport; supporting people with disabilities in regions prayed with dioxin during the war; and bomb and mine clearance. Meanwhile, Vietnam continues to coordinate with the US in searching for US soldiers missing in action (MIA) in the war in Vietnam.

Vietnam and the US have collaborated in UN peacekeeping operations and enhanced coordination in coping with regional and international security issues. The two countries share strategic benefits in maintaining peace, security, stability, cooperation and rules-based order in Asia-Pacific.

That Vietnam has assumed the role as ASEAN Chair and as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term will open up more opportunities to promote the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership.

Both sides have agreed that significant strides in bilateral ties are a vivid illustration of the joint effort and determination of the leaders and peoples of the two countries over the last 25 years.

With shared trust and optimism, it is believed that Vietnam and the US will further develop their comprehensive partnership, lifting the bilateral ties to new heights./.

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