More Ways to Enhance Vietnam – US Relations

On December 2nd, in Hanoi, the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations joined forces with the US Embassy in Vietnam to organize a conference titled "Vietnam-US: Reflection on 10 Years of Comprehensive Partnership and Prospects for the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Peace, Cooperation, and Sustainable Development."

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On the Vietnamese side, Phan Anh Son, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO), along with former VUFO Presidents Vu Xuan Hong and Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, and Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh, President of the Vietnam-US Society attended the Conference. Representatives from departments, ministries, unions, socio-political organizations, and member organizations of VUFO were also present.

The US side was represented by US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and staff of the US Embassy to Vietnam.

More Discussion to find Solutions to Promote Vietnam - US Relations
Conference “Vietnam-US: 10 Years of Comprehensive Partnership in Retrospect and Prospects of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Peace, cooperation, and Sustainable development” (Photo: Dinh Hoa)

Important advances in many fields

In his opening remarks, VUFO President Phan Anh Son reviewed the achievements in the relationship between Vietnam and the United States. After nearly 30 years of reconciliation, diplomatic relations establishment, and 10 years of comprehensive partnership, Vietnam and the United States have witnessed significant progress in various fields.

More Discussion to find Solutions to Promote Vietnam - US Relations
Phan Anh Son, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (Photo: Dinh Hoa).

In terms of politics and diplomacy, there have been numerous high-level visits, each marking a positive step forward and opening up new stages for cooperation between the two countries.

Regarding economics and trade, bilateral trade turnover in 2022 reached USD 123 billion, an increase of over 270 times compared to 1995 figures, and over USD 61 billion in the first seven months of 2023.

In terms of security and defense cooperation, the two countries continue to carry out the Security-Defense Dialogue at the Deputy Ministerial level and have achieved positive results in overcoming war consequences, dealing with non-traditional security issues, and ensuring security and safety of navigation and aviation in the South China Sea.

Regarding cultural exchange and cooperation in education and training, Vietnam and the United States have implemented more than 10 educational, training, and cultural exchange programs. The number of Vietnamese students studying abroad in the United States has grown dramatically, from 800 in 1995 to nearly 30,000 in 2023.

Regarding health cooperation, over the past 10 years, the United States has provided Vietnam with support worth more than USD 1.8 billion and conducted many cooperation activities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Regarding regional and global issues, there is an increasing closeness in cooperation between the two countries at international and regional forums and in addressing other global issues. People-to-people diplomacy activities between the two countries have met new requirements, showing considerable improvements in content and operation methods, contributing to creating a favorable, extensive, and solid social foundation for the relations between the two states.

September 10, 2023, is an important milestone as the two countries upgrade to a comprehensive strategic partnership for peace, cooperation, and sustainable development, opening a new historical period for bilateral relations.

“Such successful outcomes are attributed to tireless efforts by both countries in “putting aside the past, overcoming differences, promoting similarities, and looking towards the future,” said Phan Anh Son.

He said that the conference is an opportunity to look back at the bilateral relations between the two countries in recent times, discuss limitations and difficulties, lessons learned, achievements, factors, and pillars in promoting relations between the two countries, including the important contribution of people-to-people diplomacy of which VUFO is the core force.

Phan Anh Son looks to listen to comments and suggestions for VUFO and the US Embassy to Vietnam on potential cooperation contents, which will help people-to-people diplomacy make greater contributions to further enhance the Vietnam-U.S. partnership, meet the aspirations of the two peoples for a brighter and prosperous future, and contribute to the preservation of peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world over.

The United States is committed to being a friend and reliable partner of Vietnam

In his speech at the Conference, US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper said that Vietnam – US relations have achieved proud achievements through many ups and downs. In 2023 alone, the two countries exchanged many high-level delegations, the highlight of which was US President Joe Biden’s visit to Vietnam at the invitation of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in September 2023. The visit reaffirms that the United States values its relationship with Vietnam and is committed to accompanying Vietnam in implementing its development goals.

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US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper at the Conference (Photo: Dinh Hoa).

“We believe that our prosperity is interconnected. The success of the United States is the success of Vietnam, and the success of Vietnam is the success of the United States,” said Ambassador Marc E. Knapper.

During President Biden’s visit to Vietnam, the two sides issued a Joint Declaration on upgrading Vietnam – United States relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership for peace, cooperation, and sustainable development. According to the Ambassador, these documents provide guidelines for bilateral relations in the coming time, especially in promoting economic cooperation, trade, investment, education, people-to-people exchanges, digital transformation, and the semiconductor industry.

“The United States is committed to accompanying Vietnam as a friend and partner, working to implement the vision set forth during President Biden’s visit. We believe in the positive developments of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the coming time,” said the US Ambassador.

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Speakers at the panel talk (Photo: Dinh Hoa).

The workshop consists of two sessions. Session 1, “10 Years of Comprehensive Partnership in Retrospect”, discussed achievements in Vietnam – United States relations, how people’s diplomacy promotes the development of Vietnam – United States relations, and the pillars of the Vietnam-US comprehensive strategic partnership.

Session 2, “Prospects of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Peace, cooperation, and Sustainable development”, discussed the implications of Vietnam-US partnership upgrade for peace, cooperation, and sustainable development. It also addressed factors that will promote the comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and the United States for peace, cooperation, and sustainable development.

More Discussion to find Solutions to Promote Vietnam - US Relations
VUFO President Phan Anh Son, US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper, and Dong Huy Cuong, Chairman of the Vietnam Institute for International and Public Diplomacy Studies (middle) (Photo: Dinh Hoa).

In his closing speech, Phan Anh Son stated that the two sessions marked the initiation process for Vietnamese agencies and US partners to jointly realize and concretize the framework of the Vietnam – United States comprehensive strategic partnership.

Valerie Mai