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Archives exhibition traces pre and post-war US-Vietnam relations

By Minh Nga   January 8, 2021 | 05:44 am PT
Archives exhibition traces pre and post-war US-Vietnam relations
Two men are seen at the exhibition on archives of Vietnam-U.S. relations at the Archives Center No.2 in HCMC's District 1, January 8, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Nga.
The 1995-2020 U.S.-Vietnam Relations Archives Documentation Exhibition opened Friday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the former foes.

The exhibition, jointly organized by the State Records and Archives Management Department of Vietnam and the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, has around 200 documents and photos featuring the early commercial relationship between the two nations dating back over 200 years at the Archives Center No. 2, 2 Ter Le Duan in the city’s District 1.

The displayed documents include agreements signed by the two governments on cooperation in various fields, negotiation reports, and decisions approving the cooperation agreement.

Organizers said the documents do not reflect the entire history of diplomatic relations between the two countries, but can be an important guide to accessing original sources when researching the topic.

Also on display are nearly 100 photos capturing key moments in the 25 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the U.S.

While a part of those images are from agencies of the Ministry of National Defense and the Vietnam News Agency, a significant part of them are from the U.S. Consulate.

"The exhibition is a great example of how both governments and citizens of the two nations have worked hard daily towards the goal of shared peace and prosperity," said Consul General Marie Damour.

"From our perspective, the exhibition is very important because as we celebrate 25 years of the normalization of the relations, it is important to remember the history, how we got to where we are today, where we came from and the evolution of that relationship."

On July 11, 1995, former U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the normalization of relations between the two countries, 20 years after the end of the Vietnam War.

Twenty five years on, Vietnam and the U.S. are now comprehensive partners, with bilateral trade increasing from $450 million in 1994 to $77 billion in 2019. For several years, the U.S. has been Vietnam’s biggest export market, while Vietnam has been one of the U.S.’s fastest growing export markets.

Damour said the two nations were trusted partners now, and the "greatest achievement is the fact that we can call one another friends, and both countries are more secure and prosperous thanks to that friendship."

She said the Vietnam-U.S. partnership makes her "confident and optimistic about our shared future."

However, she also said that it was important to recognize that "our work is not over."

"There is no doubt that several challenges await us in the future. We need to look no further than the way 2020 presented us all with profound and unpredictable challenges through a global pandemic that has affected the lives of millions around the world," said Damour.

Dang ThanhTung, Director of the State Records and Archives Management Department of Vietnam, said that the exhibition should have been organized sooner, sometime last year, but the Covid-19 pandemic occurred, followed by the tragedies caused by a series of deadly floods and landslides in central Vietnam throughout October.

The exhibition is open until February 28. Admission is free.

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