The visit comes as the US is pushing a new strategy to ensure a “free and open Indo-Pacific” region with partners such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis will visit Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest economic hub, on October 16-17, marking his second trip to the Southeast Asian country this year as bilateral military ties are thriving, cited sources as saying.
The US defense chief will meet with Vietnamese military officials, the online newspaper added.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs for the United States Randall G. Schriver on October 5 that Mattis’ upcoming visit was aimed at talking with Vietnamese officials on advancing projects between the two countries and measures to cooperate in a number of important fields.
James Mattis has met with Vietnam’s Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich four times, suggesting the US-Vietnam relationship is among Mattis’ priorities, Schriver added.
The US defense secretary visited Vietnam in January at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart. Minister Lich paid an official visit to the Pentagon in August 2017.
A US Navy crew, composed of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, cruiser USS Lake Champlain and destroyer USS Wayne E.Meyer, visited Vietnam from March 5 to 9, 2018.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs for the United States Randall G. Schriver arrived in Vietnam in early October for the ninth annual United States-Vietnam Defense Policy Dialogue. This was his third visit to Vietnam this year.
“Vietnam is our comprehensive partner in the region who is committed to peace, stability, and prosperity, all core tenets of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy,” Schriver said in a statement released by the US embassy in Hanoi. “What makes our partnership important is the shared commitment to the international rule of law, maritime security, and stability in the Indo-Pacific.”
The visits come as the US is pushing a new strategy to ensure a “free and open Indo-Pacific” region with partners such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.