President Joe Biden’s visit to Vietnam has sparked excitement and hope for an expanded partnership, particularly as a counter to China’s influence in the region. President Biden met with Communist Party leader Nguyễn Phú Trọng, and together they announced the elevation of the relationship between the two countries to a “comprehensive strategic partner.” This distinction is currently held by only a handful of countries, including China, Russia, India, and South Korea, making it a significant step forward for Vietnam and the United States.
— Emel Akan (@mlakan) September 11, 2023
During a press conference, President Biden expressed his enthusiasm for the visit, describing it as “historic” and highlighting the progress that has been made in normalizing relations between the two nations. He emphasized the importance of the partnership, particularly in addressing critical issues such as supply chains and climate change.
The meeting between President Biden and Communist Party leader Trọng was both cordial and filled with compliments. Trọng praised the President’s appearance, noting that he had “nary aged a day” and looked better than ever. President Biden expressed his gratitude and reiterated his belief in the potential for great cooperation between the two countries.
However, questions about tensions with China inevitably arose during the press conference. President Biden acknowledged the challenges posed by China’s changing rules and the ban on iPhones. He made it clear that he did not wish to “contain” China but noted that Chinese leader Xi Jinping is currently facing economic troubles at home.
As President Biden’s visit to Vietnam continues to unfold, it is apparent that both countries are eager to deepen their relationship and strengthen their economic reach in China’s backyard. The elevated partnership between the United States and Vietnam sends a strong message and sets the stage for even greater cooperation in the future.