The White House on August 25 released a statement noted Vice President Kamala Harris’s travel to Vietnam signifies the US’ deep commitment not only to the region but also to the US – Vietnam relationship.
|Vietnam State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and US Vice President Kamala Harris. Photo: VNA|
The statement noted over the past several decades, the bilateral relationship between the two countries has made significant strides, to the point “where our nations now cooperate on a wide range of issues, including fighting COVID-19 and preparing for future health security threats, combatting climate change, and addressing shared legacies of war.”
“We have deepened our economic ties as Vietnam’s second-largest trading partner and its top export market worldwide,” noted the statement.
The White House stressed a vibrant Vietnamese economy is critical to the supply chains Americans depend on, a point that Covid-19 has made clear when production shutdowns abroad have led to difficulties in shipping goods at home.
Meanwhile, the two country’s security relationship has dramatically expanded as the US supports Vietnam’s independence and sovereignty, particularly in the maritime domain.
The US and Vietnam have also advanced capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats through the partnership on the Global Health Security Agenda.
According to the White House, the already-robust and growing partnership between Vietnamese and US peoples has resulted in nearly 30,000 Vietnamese studying in the US, contributing nearly $1 billion to the US economy, and the opening of a Peace Corps office in Hanoi.
Referring to Harris’ meetings with Vietnamese leaders, the statement stressed Harris has reaffirmed the US commitment to a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam, as well as a free, open, healthy, and resilient Indo-Pacific region.
On Covid-19 and health security, Harris reinforced the US’ commitment to leading the world in ending the Covid-19 pandemic and announced new Covid-19 vaccine donations to Vietnam, critical support for vaccine distribution, and the opening of a new regional CDC office to enhance health security cooperation.
With economic-trade cooperation remains a pillar in bilateral relations, Harris emphasized the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to promote economic growth and opportunity, including a $36 million USAID effort to grow women and ethnic minority-owned businesses and job growth in rural areas; and $2 million to equip Vietnam’s workforce better digital skills and participate in the global economy.
The US Vice President, the Vietnamese Government, and civil society leaders also agreed on the importance of combatting the climate crisis, increasing resilience, and collaborating towards a clean energy future.
Another highlight of Harris’s visit was to reiterate the fact that both countries have overcome a difficult past to become trusted partners.
“Vice President Harris committed to Vietnamese government leaders our resolve to continue addressing shared war legacy issues,” it added.