Monday, April 3, 2023

In a phone conversation, the head of the communist party in Vietnam and Biden decide to strengthen their relationship


Vietnam communist party chief, Biden agree to boost ties in phone call

According to reports from Vietnam's state media, chief of the ruling Communist Party in Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to "promote, develop, and deepen" ties during a telephone call on Wednesday.

The White House said in a statement that Biden reinforced the U.S. commitment to a strong, prosperous, resilient, and independent Vietnam in the call, adding that they would work together to address regional challenges and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific. This was a rare engagement for Biden with a foreign leader who is not a head of state or government. Vietnam and the United States are commemorating the tenth anniversary of their "comprehensive partnership" this year, with the United States becoming Vietnam's largest export market.

Vietnam's human rights record has been a sticking point in the relationship, with Washington critical of the government's intolerance of dissent and frequent jailing and harassment of those who speak out. However, Hanoi has been careful to ensure that its ties do not alienate its enormous neighbor China.

According to the White House statement, Biden also emphasized U.S. commitment to the importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), respect for human rights, and cooperation on climate goals.

Experts say that the United States is trying to improve relations with Vietnam this year, but there is resistance in Hanoi because they are worried that China might think the move is bad at a time when tensions between the two superpowers are high.

According to the official newspaper of the party, Nhan Dan, "The two leaders will assign relevant authorities of the two sides to discuss details for further promoting ties."

According to the report, Biden and Trong, Vietnam's most powerful figure, repeatedly invited each other to visit their countries. When they were in office, Trong had talked to both Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Nhan Dan claims that Trong stated during the call, "Vietnam consistently pursues its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation, diversification and multilateralization of relations, active and proactive global integration."

After Xi Jinping won a record-breaking third term as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Trong was the first foreign leader to meet him in Beijing in October.

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