Fri. May 24th, 2024

The Vietnam Embassy in the US celebrated the 20th founding anniversary
of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (July 12, 1995) with a ceremony
in Washington D.C. on July 30.

Addressing the
event, Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh thanked US officials,
scholars and people for their support to the development of bilateral
ties over the past 20 years.

This year is a
milestone in Vietnam-US relations given General Secretary of the
Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong’s historic visit to the US
and talks with President Barack Obama in early July.

During the visit, the two countries issued a joint vision statement to
intensify their comprehensive partnership set up by Presidents Truong
Tan Sang and Obama in 2013, Vinh added.

The diplomat
said in the last two decades, Vietnam and the US have made great
strides across the board with trade shooting up 70 times from 1995 to
reach 36 billion USD last year and with the US as the fourth largest
investor in Vietnam.

The nations are trusted
partners in global and Asia-Pacific platforms such as the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) agreement, he noted.

He added that
they are also working closely with other partners within the framework
of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the East Asia Summit and
the ASEAN Regional Forum for regional peace, security and prosperity,
including maritime security and freedom in the East Sea, water resource
security and sustainable development in the lower Mekong River.

At the ceremony, Senator John McCain – Chairman of the US Senate
Committee on Armed Services – valued the current relations between the
two countries and noted that their ties have grown beyond expectations
in various aspects, including economics and education.

He said the US Congress’s granting of the Trade Promotion Authority
that expands President Obama’s power to move ahead on the TPP is a
strategic signal of the US’s strengthened commitment to the Asia-Pacific
and its partners in the region.

However, the US and
Vietnam are facing new security challenges, McCain said, adding that
amidst China’s continued construction and militarisation in the East
Sea, Washington D.C. sides with Vietnam in opposing activities that
change the status quo in the waters.

The Senator also called on the US to consider easing the ban on the sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam.

For his part, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific
Affairs Daniel Russell underlined the substantial and comprehensive
progress of Vietnam-US relations during the last 20 years.

The US is currently hosting 17,000 Vietnamese students and about
85,000 tourists from the Southeast Asian country visited the US last
year. Educational cooperation and people-to-people exchanges are
highlights of their linkages, he said.-VNA

By vivian