Seminar reviews 25 years of Vietnam-US relations
President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences Bui Nhat Quang highlighted the great strides made in the bilateral relationship across a range of spheres, from diplomacy to economy and national defence to culture.
The two countries are pursuing a comprehensive partnership, with various high-level visits made in recent years, he said.
Two-way trade grew 15 percent annually over the last decade to stand at 75.6 billion USD in 2019, compared to 450 million USD when the two countries began to normalise diplomatic ties.
The US has worked hard to help Vietnam deal with the consequences of war and improve the capacity of its Coast Guard, while assisting the country’s international peace-keeping force, Quang said.
Vietnam, the US, and other countries have joined hands in maintaining freedom of navigation and implementing the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) in the East Sea, he went on.
He also emphasised the US’s support to Vietnam in response to climate change and rising sea levels, along with many medical programmes.
Major challenges are being faced by both Vietnam and the US, he continued, including traditional and non-traditional security issues, climate change, and natural disasters.
The two countries and others have had to make huge efforts to maintain peace and development, including in the Asia-Pacific, he said.
US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink acknowledged the presentation of masks by Vietnam to the US to fight COVID-19, the country’s participation in global medical activities, and its outstanding performance in containing the pandemic.
He also lauded Vietnam’s coordination in searching for US servicemen who died during the war, with 727 sets of remains found so far.
Achievements in the comprehensive partnership over the last 25 years have been extraordinary, he said, stressing that the US respects Vietnam’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity and backs its development and prosperity.
The US will continue to help Vietnam clean up unexploded ordnance from wartime and assist Vietnamese affected by Agent Orange/dioxin, he promised.
The US also wishes to complete an agreement on defence partnership and step up defence ties with Vietnam, helping the country receive T6 aircraft and Hamilton 2 cutters at the end of this year.
The ambassador said the US will also help Vietnam with socio-economic development and activities regarding regional peace and stability, while cooperating with other countries in the region to ensure energy security.
The US looks towards trade links that benefit both sides, he said, adding that the country will further promote bilateral trade ties instead of multilateral relations, he said.
Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh said comprehensive and strategic relations between Vietnam and the US should be advanced in the time ahead.
He suggested the countries review the bilateral trade agreement signed two decades ago, to make it suitable for advances in the relationship./.