Asiaplomacy: Trump goes historic on Vietnam

Update: 20:30 | 29/05/2017
US President Donald Trump’s decision to visit Vietnam in November 2017 to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting marks a new milestone in bilateral relations since the normalisation of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1995, according to Asiaplomacy.
asiaplomacy trump goes historic on vietnam President greets U.S. Senator McCain
asiaplomacy trump goes historic on vietnam Joint statement for enhancing VN-U.S. comprehensive partnership

In her article recently published by the website, Dr. Lisa Williams, former Staff Director for the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment, said unlike any other US President since US troops withdrew from Vietnam in 1975, President Trump will visit Vietnam in the first year of assuming the office of the Presidency.

asiaplomacy trump goes historic on vietnam
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Bonn.

This is an historic move that signals that the US-Vietnam relations are of high priority, she stressed.

The article said, in a letter sent to President Tran Dai Quang, President Trump affirmed his wishes to promote cooperation on economics, trade, regional and international issues with Vietnam. Leaders from both nations are keen to expand the bilateral ties. 

The US has wide-ranging reasons to deepen ties with Vietnam, and Vietnam has reasons to reciprocate, the article added.

It noted that, according to the World Bank, Vietnam’s development record over the past 30 years has been highlighted as remarkable, with its GDP per capita growth rate being among the fastest in the world.

In Asia, Vietnam has advanced relations with India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, and other ASEAN member nations, and the country is chairing the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting 2017.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh have already met to advance the relationship across many sectors including security, maritime disputes, infectious disease, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, law enforcement capacity building programs, and people-to-people ties, among other initiatives. With the TPP off the table, continued talks also include trade – bilateral and regional. 

Dr. Williams said 2017 marks the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN and the 40th celebration of the US-ASEAN relations. ASEAN in general and Vietnam in particular, are suitable partners for the US to build a more meaningful and substantial relationship.

With respect to Vietnam, it is time for the US to get real about addressing Agent Orange contamination in Vietnam and promote defence cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation, the article noted.

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(Source: VNA)