Thursday , May 26 2022

US wishes for ‘strong, independent’ Vietnam: Secretary of State


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at a meeting in Washington that his country supports a “strong, independent and prosperous” Vietnam.

He told the Vietnamese PM on the sidelines of the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit on May 13 that he had fond memories of his two visits to Vietnam in 2015 and 2016.

Overcoming the consequences of war is one of the top priorities in the bilateral relationship, and the U.S. would continue to coordinate closely with Vietnam for this, he assured.

He also welcomed Vietnam’s commitments at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference Summit and promised U.S. help to fulfill them.

Chinh thanked the U.S. for providing nearly 40 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines through bilateral channels and the Covax mechanism when Vietnam was facing its most difficult time during the pandemic.

The relationship between the two countries has a special history, and it has gone through many ups and downs but achieved many positives, including the visit of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to the U.S. seven years ago, he said.

“The visit laid a solid foundation, created a basis for the development of the Vietnam – U.S. Comprehensive Partnership based on the principle of respecting each other’s political institutions, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity for peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world, bringing practical benefits to the two peoples.”

The U.S. is one of Vietnam’s most important partners, and its policy of supporting a strong, independent and prosperous Vietnam is deeply appreciated, he said.

He called for continued U.S. support in various fields, coordination between the two nations in handling issues such as pandemic response, climate change and subsidence in the Mekong Delta, and for ensuring a sustainable and resilient supply chain.

The two sides also agreed on the importance of ensuring peace, freedom, security, and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, and settling disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

Also on May 13 Chinh received U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

Sullivan said the U.S. respects independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and the differences in political systems between Washington and partner countries, and is committed to devoting resources to assist Vietnam in dealing with challenges such as Covid-19, climate change and the risk of supply chain disruption.

Chinh is in the U.S. for the U.S.-ASEAN Summit on May 12 and 13.

He will pay a visit to the U.S. after the summit.

Vietnam and the U.S., former foes, normalized relations in 1995.

Recent milestones in bilateral ties include the U.S. fully lifting the lethal arms export ban to Vietnam during President Barack Obama’s visit in May 2016 and sending aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to Da Nang in March 2018.

Bilateral trade surged from US$450 million in 1994, a year before normalization of ties, to $111.56 billion in 2021.

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