Category Archives: Affairs

US think tank to hold conference on Vietnam – US relations

The Stimson Center, a US-based nonpartisan policy research center, has scheduled an online conference titled “The U.S. – Vietnam Relationship and War Legacies: 25 Years into Normalization” on July 15.

 

The discussion will provide an insight on the bilateral relationship between the two nations, their progress made on war legacy issues in the last 25 years, and the role such legacies will play in their future relationship.

 

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc and US Senator Patrick Leahy, representing Vermont, are to deliver the opening remarks. Meanwhile, the panelists consist of Mike Cerre, Special Correspondent for PBS News Hour and Globe TV Reporter, and Tim Rieser, Senior Foreign Policy Aid for Senator Leahy and Democratic Clerk of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee.

 

In its website, the centre said: “2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the normalization of relations between the United States and Vietnam. Vietnam is an American key partner in the Indo-Pacific region, and the United States and Vietnam have made great strides in building a forward-looking and mutually beneficial partnership despite the shared history of war, its baneful legacies, and a nineteen-year interruption to diplomatic relations.”

 

Founded in 1989, the centre, named after Henry L. Stimson, aims to enhance international peace and security through a combination of analysis and outreach.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam-US relations at level no one could imagine 25 years ago: Ambassador

Vietnam-US relations have reached a level in both scope and scale that no one could have imagined 25 years ago, Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc said in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (July 12).

 

Twenty-five years is not an overly-long time but bilateral ties have nonetheless produced impressive achievements, the ambassador said, with remarkable progress seen not only in politics and diplomacy but also in such areas as economics, trade, investment, security, defence, education, culture, people-to-people exchanges, and science and technology.

 

Partnerships in economics, trade, and investment have become a primary driver of the development of bilateral relations over the last 25 years, he said, adding two-way trade rose more than 170 times, from 450 million USD in 1995 to 77.6 billion USD last year.

 

The US is now Vietnam’s largest importer while Vietnam remains the US’s fastest-growing market in Southeast Asia. Despite the strong adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral trade rose nearly 10 percent in the first half of this year.

 

The two countries have also made solid progress in security and defence cooperation, not only in addressing the consequences of the war but also in military medical training, humanitarian relief, disaster assistance, and peacekeeping efforts.

 

For the first time, the US Government has provided funding, via the US Department of Defense, for Vietnam’s efforts to search for its soldiers missing in action during the war. US aircraft carriers, meanwhile, have made two official visits to Vietnam, in March 2018 and March 2020.

 

The two sides have also expanded security cooperation in information sharing and capacity building in regard to counter-terrorism, cyber security, and water security, the diplomat added.

 

Vietnam and the US are now actively collaborating in responding to the coronavirus and recovering their economies in the post-pandemic time, he said.

 

Ngoc added that the development of Vietnam-US relations is not only meaningful to both countries but also contributes positively to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation, and the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific and the world at large.

 

The two have been active in working together to address regional and global issues, such as the East Sea, the Mekong River, and the Korean Peninsula, and cooperated at multilateral forums, including ASEAN and APEC.

 

The cooperation has been even more evident this year, with Vietnam assuming the ASEAN Chairmanship and a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC), he noted.

 

As the ASEAN Chair, Vietnam has fostered medical cooperation between ASEAN and the US in the face of COVID-19, with a focus on information and experience sharing and capacity building in fighting the virus.

 

One of the two sides’ top priorities at the moment is to maintain the positive progress made in bilateral economic, trade, and investment partnerships to support the recovery of the two economies, he said, adding that the shift in global supply chains caused by the pandemic will create good opportunities for the two to take firmer steps forward in investment cooperation.

 

The Vietnamese Government is committed to further improving the country’s business climate and facilitating US companies doing business in the country, to make the US one of Vietnam’s largest investors.

 

The ambassador pointed to the political will and the strong support from both sides to the further deepening of the Vietnam – US cooperation as an advantage for further advancing the current relationship.

 

There is plenty of room for Vietnam and the US to expand cooperation, particularly locality-to-locality partnerships as well as in science and technology, responses to non-conventional security challenges, and addressing regional and international issues, he said.

 

The Ambassador suggested the two countries continue to coordinate in maintaining peace, stability, security, and the rule of law; promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea and the Asia-Pacific; addressing the consequences of COVID-19 to revive the two economies and bilateral trade; and resolving any outstanding issues.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Investment attraction key to DakNong’s development: NA Chairwoman

National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan urged DakNong to improve its business climate and boost investment attraction to welcome larger volumes of capital while attending the 10th session of the Central Highlands province’s 3rd-tenure People’s Council on July 9.

 

Mentioning the recognition of the DakNongGeopark by UNESCO as a Global Geopark, the third of its kind in Vietnam, she said it now needs planning, as good management and new projects in line with policies would help promote the province’s eco-tourism and cultural potential.

 

She recommended local authorities pay attention to supporting the development of enterprises that use technologies and follow new business models, while creating favourable conditions for investors. If these are done well, they will provide major stimulation for local economic recovery.

 

The NA chief also asked the province to strengthen environmental protection and climate change response, step up administrative and judicial reform, and prioritise human resources training.

 

While effectively implementing measures to ensure economic growth and social welfare, DakNong should also prepare for any new developments of COVID-19 and also diphtheria, Ngan noted. The province, which has recorded no COVID-19 cases, is however facing an outbreak of diphtheria.

 

The top legislator required the province soon build plans, allocate budget funds, and mobilise resources to carry out the master plan for socio-economic development of ethnic and mountainous areas for 2021-2030, which was recently approved by the NA. DakNong is home to 40 ethnic minority groups.

 

She requested it fully prepare for elections of deputies to the 15th NA and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure.

 

On the same day, Ngan held a working session with key local officials, during which she asked DakNong to actively foster peace and friendship with Cambodian localities with which it shares a border.

 

She also agreed with the necessity of public-private partnership (PPP) investment in building a highway linking the province to HCM City, while supporting an upgrade to increase the number of beds at the DakNong General Hospital from 300 to 700.

 

Earlier, on July 8, Ngan and representatives of provincial authorities visited and presented gifts to a number of policy beneficiaries in the provincial capital GiaNghia.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

 

Vietnam, US overcome differences for mutual benefit

 

The Vietnam-US relationship has experienced its ups and downs but has overcome a tumultuous past and moved towards a future of cooperation for the sake of both countries.

 

Once enemies, the two countries have normalised their relationship over the last 25 years and advanced it to a new high – a comprehensive partnership covering a wide range of spheres, from politics-diplomacy to economy, education, science-technology, and national defence and security.

 

Vietnamese and US leaders have exchanged visits and committed to respecting each other’s independence, national sovereignty and integrity, and political institutions.

 

Both parties in the US Congress have expressed support for promoting relations with Vietnam.

 

The framework of the comprehensive partnership was established during the visit to the US by State President Truong Tan Sang in July 2013. This was a key milestone demonstrating the inevitable development trend of Vietnam-US relations and created a firm foundation for bilateral ties to grow further.

 

Party General Secretary Nguyen PhuTrong’s visit in July 2015 was also a key milestone in the two countries’ relations, with the accompanying issuance of a Joint Vision Statement.

 

During his trip to Vietnam in May 2016, President Barack Obama announced the complete removal of a ban on lethal weapon sales to Vietnam which was the final barrier in bilateral relations, marking the complete normalisation of relations between the two countries.

 

Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc was the first leader in ASEAN to visit the US after President Donald Trump took office.

 

Trump was also the first US President to visit Vietnam twice during a single term in office.

 

Multilaterally, Vietnam and the US have shared strategic interests in maintaining peace, security, stability, cooperation, and order based on rules in Asia-Indo-Pacific, including issues regarding the East Sea, the Mekong River, and the Korean peninsula. They have also coordinated at ASEAN forums, APEC, the UN, and the WTO.

 

The two countries have also made notable achievements in defence-security cooperation over the last 25 years, in particular the settlement of the consequences of war and improvements to maritime law enforcement capacity.

 

Vietnam has coordinated with the US in the search for US servicemen who went missing during the war.

 

Vietnam and the US have maintained the exchange of delegations at all levels, bilateral dialogue mechanisms, and meetings at regional forums.

 

The two have approved a three-year action plan on defence cooperation in 2018-2021, coordinated in UN peacekeeping operations, and enhanced their collaboration in coping with regional and international security risks.

 

Speaking at a ceremony kicking off celebrations of the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties on January 30, David R. Stilwell, US Assistant Secretary of State, said the partnership and friendship between the two countries have been established through joint efforts.

 

The two countries have overcome post-war difficulties to become trusted partners on the basis of mutual respect, he said, adding that, over past years, policy dialogue frameworks have been expanded, contributing to building mutual trust.

 

At an international seminar in Hanoi on July 1 that reviewed Vietnam-US ties over the last 25 years, US Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink said the achievements in the comprehensive partnership have been extraordinary.

 

The US will continue to remove unexploded ordnance (UXO) left over from wartime and will support Vietnamese people with disabilities or who are Agent Orange/dioxin victims, while helping Vietnam with socio-economic activities, he said.

 

Michael Miclausis from the US National Strategic Research Institute said bilateral ties have become warmer and represent an outstanding success in international relations.

 

He described the normalisation of relations as an extraordinary transformation, saying the two countries have changed from being enemies to partners, and their mutually-beneficial partnership has developed strongly.

 

Despite differences in economic and political systems, the two have shared a perception on strategic balance in the region, he said, adding that both are aware that through cooperation they can be stronger when facing common strategic challenges.

 

Gregory Poling, Director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), lauded the joint efforts made in boosting economic cooperation, which, he said, began from almost nothing.

 

Defence and security cooperation is a major driver of bilateral ties at present, he said.

 

Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham QuangVinh, who is a former Vietnamese Ambassador to the US, said that after a quarter of a century, relations have been consolidated in line with the spirit of the Joint Vision Statement – putting aside the past, overcoming differences and promoting similarities, and looking towards the future.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam, Japan intensify extensive strategic partnership in new context

Politburo member and permanent member of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Secretariat Tran QuocVuong received Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Yamada Takio in Hanoi on July 8 on the occasion of the start of his tenure in Vietnam.

 

To boost the extensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan in the new situation, Vuong suggested the diplomat actively work to promote bilateral political trust, defence-security partnership, and cooperation in economy, investment and trade.

 

He also called on the two countries to collaborate in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, and asked the Japanese Government to continue taking effective measures in support of the overseas Vietnamese community in Japan.

 

The official expressed his hope that the ambassador will actively contribute to the development of relations between the CPV and Japanese political parties to create a political foundation for enhancing bilateral ties in other realms.

 

He voiced his sympathies with Japanese authorities and people over the recent widespread torrential rains in theKyushu region which led to floods and landslides and caused heavy human and economic losses.

 

For his part, Yamada Takio affirmed that Japan attaches great importance to the extensive strategic partnership with Vietnam, as well as Vietnam’s role and position in the region and beyond.

 

He spoke highly of Vietnam’s success in the fight against the pandemic.

 

The diplomat went on that Japan considers Vietnam one of the most favourable investment destinations in the region, adding that many major groups of Japan have shown their interest in Vietnam.

 

He hoped there will be a new wave of foreign direct investment (FDI) from Japan to Vietnam.

 

The ambassador pledged to do his utmost to strengthen the comprehensive relations between Vietnam and Japan.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

 

Vietnam joins UNSC’s discussion on Central Asia’s centre for preventive diplomacy

Vietnamese Ambassador Dang DinhQuy on July 6 expressed his expectation that the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) will further assist the regional states in responding to the COVID-19 and combating terrorism.

 

Quy, head of Vietnam’s Mission to the UN, made the statement during a video conference held by the UN Security Council to discuss the UNRCCA’s operation.

 

He spoke highly of the role of the UNRCCA and Natalia Gherman, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Asia and the UNRCCA’s Head, in fostering preventive diplomacy in Central Asia and the positive security, social and economic progress in this region.

 

He said he hopes the UNRCCA will continue supporting the five Central Asian countries, consisting of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, in strengthening transboundary water management, fostering regional cooperation and empowering the youth and women.

 

Gherman briefed participants of the UNRCCA’s activities since the last meeting in January which focused on providing help for the regional states to contain the spread of the coronavirus, promoting regional social-economic growth, and tackling non-conventional security challenges such as terrorism and extremism, as well as transnational crimes and climate change.

 

The centre has also helped these five countries in managing transboundary water issues and increasing the youth and women’s participation in preventive diplomacy, she said.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

 

Vietnam prioritises child right protection: ambassador

Vietnam always pays attention to and prioritises protecting children’s rights in armed conflicts, said Ambassador Le ThiTuyet Mai, head of the Vietnamese delegation in Geneva.

 

She was speaking at a dialogue with Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, within the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

 

The ambassador expressed her concern over and condemned acts of violence and violations of children’s rights, saying Vietnam is willing to cooperate and share experience in this field.

 

She called on relevant sides to observe basic principles of international humanitarian law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to protect civilians, especially children in armed conflicts, take practical measures to minimise the adverse impact of armed conflicts on children, step by step find basic solutions to deal with the root cause of conflicts, conduct national reconciliation and promote sustainable development, while helping children who had participated in armed conflicts reintegrate into the community.

 

In her remarks, Virginia Gamba said throughout 2019 children continued to be the primary victims of armed conflicts.

 

Last year, some 4,400 incidents of denial of humanitarian access to children were verified, as compared to 795 incidents of this nature in 2018: an exponential increase and the highest one for any violation in any one year.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has added another grim layer to this reality: with lockdowns and school closures we are at risk of seeing increasing cases of military use of empty buildings and of attacks on health facilities, she said.

 

Representatives from countries, the UNICEF and non-governmental organisations called for a ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian aid, integrate the protection of child rights into peace talks and post-conflict reconstruction.

 

They also recommended that countries raise awareness and commit to protecting child rights in armed conflicts, improve the effect and efficiency of legal punishment mechanisms towards perpetrators and fully comply with international human rights standards and relevant international law.

 

Regarding environmental impacts on children’s rights, the meeting heard that WHO estimates that every year, the deaths of 1.7 million children under the age of five are due to environmental factors – notably air and water pollution and exposure to toxic substances. Twelve million children in developing countries experience permanent brain damage due to lead poisoning.

 

Many countries shared their view on the responsibility of governments in ensuring children’s rights and human rights to live in a green environment, and called for more intensive and extensive cooperation between governments, businesses, research institutes andorganisations in this regard.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency