President Joe Biden began his trip to Vietnam on Sunday It also wants to dramatically increase trade with the United States, a sign of how competition with China is reshaping relations in Asia.
Biden said he hopes to make progress on the climate, the economy and other issues during his 24-hour visit.
“Vietnam and the United States are important partners, and I would say this is a very important moment.”Biden told Vietnam Communist Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng during a public portion of the meeting at party headquarters.
The president has boasted that Vietnam is elevating the United States to the status of a comprehensive strategic partner. Other countries such as Vietnam have extended this designation to include China and Russia. Granting equal status to the United States, Vietnam wants to hide its friendship as American and European companies look for alternatives to Chinese factories.
Biden, who arrived in Hanoi on Sunday afternoon, told a fundraiser in Salt Lake City last month that Vietnam does not want a security alliance with the United States, “but they want relations because they don’t want China to know.” Alone” and can choose their own partners. The President decided to include a visit to Vietnam in his visit to India for the Group of 20 summit that concluded on Sunday.
China’s economic slowdown and the strengthening of President Xi Jinping’s political power. Biden sees an opportunity to bring more countries into the US orbit, including Vietnam and Cambodia.
“We’re in a situation where all these changes are happening around the world,” Biden explained last month about Vietnam. “If we are smart, we have the opportunity to change the dynamic”.
Biden was welcomed to Vietnam with a lavish outdoor ceremony at the mustard-colored presidential palace. Dozens of children lined the steps waving small American and Vietnamese flags, and Biden watched from an elevated reviewing stand as members of the military walked by. The President greeted the children before getting into his limousine for a quick trip to the Communist Party headquarters and a meeting with General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng.
Biden, who was vice president at the time, said the president and Trong expressed mutual joy at seeing each other again since their last meeting in Washington eight years ago.
Trang tried to flatter Biden, who is 80 and faces lingering questions at home about his re-election bid next year.
“You haven’t aged a day and I’d say you look better than ever,” Trang said. “Mr. President, I would say that each of your characteristics complements your image.”. Biden smiled in return.
John Feiner, Biden’s deputy national security adviser, said the elevated status reflects Vietnam’s highest international partnership.
“It’s important to be clear that this is more than words,” Feiner told reporters Sunday on Biden’s flight to Hanoi. “In a system like Vietnam, it’s a signal to your entire government, your entire bureaucracy, of depth, cooperation and coordination with another country.”
He outlined the five-decade curve in US-Vietnam relations, normalization from the conflict during the Vietnam War, and Vietnam’s status as a major trading partner.
“We will deepen that relationship through this visit.”he added.
Feiner also addressed reports that Vietnam is seeking deeper ties with the United States and is seeking a deal to buy arms from Russia. Finer acknowledged Vietnam’s long military relationship with Russia and said the United States has joined forces with Vietnam and other countries with similar ties to Russia to try to limit ties with the nation, which the United States accuses of committing war crimes and violating international law. Aggression in Ukraine.
US trade with Vietnam has already accelerated since 2019. But there are limits to how far a country can progress without improving its infrastructure, the skills of its workforce and its governance. Increased trade does not automatically put the Vietnamese economy on an upward trajectory.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said CEOs are talking about characterizing Vietnam as a place to diversify supply chains that relied heavily on China before the pandemic. Raimondo is trying to expand those supply chains through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which Biden launched last year.
“Whether it’s Vietnam or Malaysia, Indonesia, India, the companies are actually there Careful analysis As places to do more business for those countries,” Raimondo said. “It’s also true that they need to improve transparency in their workforce, housing, infrastructure and government operations.”
He Vietnam’s economic growth fell in the first three months of 2023. Its exporters have faced higher costs and weaker demand as high inflation has hit consumer goods markets around the world.
However, U.S. imports of Vietnamese goods have more than doubled to $127 billion annually since 2019, according to the Census Bureau. Vietnam, with a population of 100 million, cannot match the level of Chinese production. In 2022, China, with 1.4 million people, exported four times more goods to the United States than Vietnam.
There is also evidence that China is central to the economies of many Indo-Pacific countries. A new analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics finds that countries in IPEF have On average more than 30% of imports from China and nearly 20% of exports go to China. This bias has increased significantly since 2010.
White House National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan saw an opportunity to expand America’s relationship with Vietnam when one of his top officials, Lê Hoài Trung, visited Washington on June 29.
After speaking with Trung, Sullivan returned to his office and, after consulting with his team, decided to deliver a letter to the Vietnamese government urging the two countries to take their trade and diplomatic relations to the highest level possible, an administration official said. He insisted on anonymity to discuss details.
While traveling with Biden in Helsinki on July 13, Sullivan returned to the topic when he spoke by phone with Truong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
A few weeks later at a barn fundraiser in Maine, Biden made the deal public.
“I got a call from the president of Vietnam and he wants to meet me when I go to the G20,” Biden said. “He wants to elevate us to an important partner, along with Russia and China. What do you think this is about?”
To answer Biden’s question, it’s concerns about an expansive and assertive China, says Gregory Pauling, director of the Southeast Asia Program and Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, a Washington-based think tank.
Vietnam is “It sends a pretty strong political message that they care enough about Beijing that they’re willing to elevate their relationship with the U.S. to the highest level that they formally have in their system.”Bolang said in a call with reporters about the trip.
Bolling said it was a significant move by a communist country that shares a border with China.
(With information from AP)
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