Mr. Ngoc made the statement at a workshop on Vietnam-US relations under President Donald Trump’s Administration organized by Fulbright University Vietnam and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), attended by US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink and US Consul General to HCMC Mary Tarnowka.
Stating at the workshop, deputy minister Ha Kim Ngoc said that Vietnam-US relations saw many changes in 2017. In January, President Tran Dai Quang and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent greetings to President Donald Trump after his inauguration ceremony.
In February, Vietnamese leaders received the first letters from President Donald Trump affirming the hope of boosting the two countries’ relationship.
From March until President Trump’s visit to Vietnam in November, high ranking Vietnamese officials including Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich, head of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan visited the US.
Vietnam’s message is that Vietnam treasures the relationship with the US and hopes to work with the American Government, Congress and President Trump to intensify cooperation.
Mr. Ngoc affirmed that 2017 was a successful year in the two countries’ relations with two high ranking visits. Of these, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is the first leader from Southeast Asia to visit the US in May and Vietnam is the first nation in the region that President Donald Trump visited in the first year of him in office.
According to Mr. Ngoc, the two countries obtained the above achievements because they have appreciated each other in foreign policy and hoped to boost cooperation.
The two sides have had a solid relationship foundation built for the last 20 years, paid attention to legitimate benefits and priorities of each other; practiced principles of respecting independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institution of each country, not interfered in internal affairs of each other and strengthened mutually beneficial cooperation; solved differences through dialogues, cooperation and goodwill and built faith together.
Stating at the event, US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink said that he and the US President had talked and agreed with putting 100 percent belief in Vietnam. President Donald Trump committed to taking actions to intensify the partnership relationship with Vietnam for benefits of the two countries, the region and the world.
The US pledged to assist Vietnam to develop prosperously and independently. Vietnam will play its role in protecting international security, attend in free and fair trade according to mutual principle, respect for human right and rule of law.
Mr. Kritenbrink said that he had determined five priorities in Vietnam-US relations. In security, the two sides will assist common security interests such as maintaining international law, freedom of navigation and the air, preventing the use of force in the East Sea.
In trade and investment, bilateral trade value jumped from US$451 million in 1995 to US$52 billion in 2016. Vietnam has become the fastest developing export market of the US and US investment in Vietnam has increased to $1.5 billion.
Human rights might reach necessary advances through open dialogues. In people’s diplomacy, over 30,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the US, 80,000 Vietnamese have visited the US and half a million of Americans have visited Vietnam.
In addition, the two sides have continued cooperation in seeking missing Americans during the American War, minimizing dangers from unexploded bombs and mine remains after the war and detoxifying dioxins.
By THUY VU – Translated by Hai Mien
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