Biden leaves Vietnam after start of ‘historic new phase’ in bilateral ties

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Sep 11 (EFE).- United States president Joe Biden on Monday ended a two-day visit to Vietnam, a trip that he said kicked off a new era between the two countries after they upgraded their historically strained relationship to a strategic partnership.

Biden and Vietnam’s leader Nguyen Phu Trong, the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party, signed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership on Sunday, with the two leaders hailing “a historic new phase of bilateral cooperation and friendship” in a joint statement.

The US president on Monday met with his Vietnamese counterpart Vo Van Thuong, prime minister Pham Minh Chin and national assembly chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, praising the “extraordinary” development in ties in recent years between the two former enemies, who fought on opposing sides during the Vietnam War.

According to the White House, Biden and Thuong discussed business and economic ties, in addition to aspirations for technological cooperation and the Vietnamese energy transition plan.

“This could be the beginning of even a greater era of cooperation and benefit, not only for the United States and Vietnam, but for the entire Indo-Pacific, the entire world,” Biden stressed at the end of his meeting with the Vietnamese president.

Thuong, for his part, stressed that the visit and the signing of the strategic partnership agreement between the two countries mark “a momentous occasion” that opens “a new chapter” in their relationship.

Amid the dramatically improved ties, Biden made multiple references to the Vietnam War, which the US took part in on the side of South Vietnam against the Communist, Soviet-backed North.

Biden’s visit ended with a visit to a memorial in Hanoi dedicated to the late Republican US Senator John McCain, whose imprisonment in Hoa Lo prison (ironically known as the Hanoi Hilton) during the conflict and his trip to Vietnam three decades later symbolize the healing of the wounds of war.

Biden, accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, bowed his head at the memorial and paid tribute to McCain, his former political opponent who passed away in 2018.

Biden arrived in Hanoi on Sunday after participating in the G20 leaders’ summit held over the weekend in New Delhi, where the US president announced the creation of a mega infrastructure project as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the New Silk Road. EFE


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