Vietnam and U.S. Upgrade Ties to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Peace, Cooperation and Sustainable Development

11:00:04 AM | 9/20/2023

At the invitation of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, U.S. President Joe Biden conducted a state visit to Vietnam on September 10-11, 2023.

General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong (right) hosts the reception ceremony to welcome U.S. President Joe Biden at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, September 10, 2023

On the afternoon of September 10, the Presidential Palace hosted a formal reception for President Biden with the highest protocol for heads of state. General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong chaired the reception.

Following the reception, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Biden led their respective senior delegations to hold talks at the Party Central Committee headquarters.

This marked the first state visit of a U.S. president to Vietnam upon the invitation of the CPV General Secretary. The visit coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-U.S. Comprehensive Partnership. It also extended nearly 30 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the U.S.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Joe Biden hold bilateral talks to strengthen the partnership between Vietnam and the United States

Elevating relations to comprehensive strategic partnership

In the Joint Statement on advancing Vietnam-U.S. relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Peace, Cooperation and Sustainable Development, the two leaders celebrated a historic new stage of bilateral collaboration and friendship by elevating their relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for peace, cooperation, and sustainable development. The U.S. supports a strong, independent, prosperous, and resilient Vietnam.

In 10 years since President Truong Tan Sang and President Barack Obama established the Vietnam-U.S. Comprehensive Partnership, the two countries have achieved remarkable progress in enhancing mutual understanding, building mutual trust, and expanding cooperation across all areas of the Comprehensive Partnership. Under this new framework, the two leaders emphasized fundamental principles guiding Vietnam-U.S. relations, including respect for the United Nations Charter, international laws, and respect for each other’s political system, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

The two leaders emphasized the importance of deepening political and diplomatic relations and enhancing regular exchanges and contacts at all levels to foster mutual understanding and build and consolidate political trust.

The two leaders reaffirmed that economic, trade and investment cooperation and innovation-driven inclusive economic growth are the core foundation and driving force of the bilateral relationship. Both sides committed to facilitating the further opening of their markets for each other’s goods and services, supporting trade and economic policy, and regulatory measures to achieve this goal and further reinforcing a non-discriminatory, open, fair, inclusive, equitable, transparent and rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core.

The U.S. pledged to further assist Vietnam in manufacturing, high-quality digital and physical infrastructure development, just energy transition, sustainable and smart agriculture and support Vietnam to participate more deeply in regional and global supply chains, with a special focus on Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region.

Vietnam and the U.S. agreed to intensify science, technology, and digital innovation cooperation, considering this as a new breakthrough of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The U.S. affirmed its commitment to increasing support for Vietnam in training and developing a high-tech workforce. The two countries agreed to cooperate fully in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. The two leaders welcomed the advancement of secure and reliable digital infrastructure in Vietnam, and acknowledged its potential to provide new opportunities to enhance digital capability for Vietnamese digital innovators to expand the growth of Vietnam’s digital economy.

The two leaders praised the robust growth of people-to-people exchanges and agreed to work together to promote two-way tourism, business cooperation, professional and academic exchanges, and study opportunities.

Additionally, Vietnam and the U.S. will enhance cooperation in climate, energy, environment and health, cooperation in addressing war consequences, defense and security, and promoting and protecting human rights.

Since the normalization of bilateral relations in 1995, the Vietnam-U.S. relationship has flourished vigorously and fruitfully, growing both in depth and substance. This new chapter will elevate the partnership to new heights. Together, the two countries will realize the aspirations of the people of our countries for a bright and dynamic future that contributes to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation and development across a crucial region and the world at large.

Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong ( R) receives U.S. President Joe Biden

Looking for a new chapter

Following the high-level talks, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Joe Biden held press conferences to announce the outcomes of the talks.

General Secretary Nguyen Phuc Trong stressed that, based on the interests of Vietnamese and U.S. people and the desire to strengthen cooperation for peace, cooperation and sustainable development in the new era, the comprehensive strategic partnership for peace, cooperation and sustainable development continues to be based on full respect for the basic principles that have guided the two countries’ relations, including respect to the United Nations Charter, international laws and political institutions, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of each other.

The contents of the new partnership inherit existing cooperation contents between the two countries and take them to a higher level through the advancement of economic, trade, and investment cooperation with innovation as the foundation, focal point and driving force of the bilateral relations, and the intensification of cooperation in science-technology as a new breakthrough of the Vietnam-U.S. Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for peace, cooperation and sustainable development. In the time to come, relevant agencies of the two nations will work together to implement the adopted agreements, creating conditions for the next development phases.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong asserted that the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam also adopted the policy on strengthening and deepening bilateral cooperative relations within the framework of the consistent foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation and development, diversification and multilateralization of external relations. Vietnam is a friend, a reliable partner as well as an active and responsible member of the international community.

President Joe Biden expressed his gratitude for the warm and sincere welcome that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and the Vietnamese side extended to the delegation at this truly historic moment. The two sides elevated the bilateral relationship to foster security, prosperity, peace, cooperation and development.

President Joe Biden said that this important step is advancing the cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, especially around building a more resilient semiconductor supply chain; broadening the economic partnership, stimulating even greater trade and investment between the two nations; and encouraging educational exchange.

He also acknowledged Vietnam’s efforts to address the climate crisis and to accelerate its clean energy transition; strengthen global health security and advance treatments for cancer and HIV/AIDS; and enhance the security cooperation between the two countries.

He emphasized that everything achieved in recent years was not accidental or inevitable, but required the efforts of the leaders of the two countries. 10 years ago, the two countries reached a major milestone with the establishment of the comprehensive partnership relationship.

President Joe Biden highly appreciated how the two nations and their people have built mutual trust and understanding and worked to heal the painful legacy of the war left on both nations; efforts to clear unexploded ordnance, remediate environmental damage from dioxin, expand support for people with disabilities, and account for every American service member still missing in action in Vietnam as well as the fallen or missing Vietnamese soldiers from that war.

He expressed his expectation and anticipation of a new chapter in the two countries’ relationship.

By Quynh Anh, Vietnam Business Forum