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U.S. Secretary of State Blinken arrives in Hanoi

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Hanoi tonight, April 14, beginning his three-day visit to Vietnam at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son.

The visit will help advance key discussions with Vietnamese partners as both countries are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their Comprehensive Partnership, said a statement of the U.S. Department of State.

Blinken is expected to have separate meetings with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and hold talks with Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son to look into a shared vision of a connected, prosperous, peaceful, and resilient Indo-Pacific region.

His Vietnam visit comes after Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong spoke on the phone with U.S. President Joe Biden on March 29.

The two sides expressed pleasure at having a chance to exchange views on 10 years of the Comprehensive Partnership.

They spoke highly of the comprehensive development of the bilateral relationship and agreed to promote, develop and deepen it more sustainably for the sake of both sides and peace, cooperation and development.

The Party General Secretary proposed the two countries prioritize economic, scientific and technological cooperation as the central focus and driving force for their bilateral ties. He expected that the two sides would step up cooperation in defense and security, trade and new areas such as logistics, digital economy, green transformation and healthcare.

For his part, President Joe Biden affirmed Vietnam as a crucial partner of the U.S. and respected the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The U.S. commits to promoting peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and hopes for enhanced cooperation with Vietnam.

Two-way trade between the two countries has grown strongly over the years. Bilateral trade totaled an estimated US$123 billion last year, up 11% against 2021. America has become the largest export market of Vietnam while Vietnam has been the eighth largest trading partner of the U.S.

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