PM leaves Vietnam for ASEAN-US summit

By Hoang Thuy   May 10, 2022 | 03:58 am PT
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh left Hanoi Tuesday evening to attend the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit in Washington at the invitation of U.S. President Joe Biden.
Thủ tướng Phạm Minh Chính trước khi bước vào chuyên cơ lên đường tới Mỹ dự Hội nghị Cấp cao đặc biệt ASEAN - Mỹ. Ảnh:Hoàng Thùy.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh waves before boarding the plane to attend the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit in Washington, May 10, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Thuy

He will join other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members at the May12-13 summit, held to commemorate the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-U.S. relations.

Chinh and other ASEAN leaders are expected to attend a reception hosted by President Joe Biden on May 12 evening at the White House before participating in the main meeting on May 13.

The summit will see ASEAN leaders and the U.S. President review and evaluate the partnership between both sides and set out orientations for developing it further in the coming time.

The two sides will also hold separate and in-depth discussions on cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including the economy, trade, investment, maritime security, post-pandemic response and recovery, climate change response, energy, science and technology, and sustainable infrastructure development.

They are expected to adopt a Joint Vision Statement highlighting achievements of the past 45 years and orientations to promote bilateral relations in the coming time.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said that Vietnam will contribute to discussions and exchanges in the spirit of sincerity, trust and cooperation, contributing to strengthening the ASEAN-U.S. strategic partnership.

The two sides officially established relations in 1977 and upgraded that to a Strategic Partnership on November 21, 2015. The U.S. established a Mission to ASEAN in Jarkata, Indonesia in June 2010 and appointed a full-time Ambassador to ASEAN in April 2011.

ASEAN-U.S. relations incorporate mechanisms such as the annual summit, the Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the deputy foreign minister or Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM), the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) and specialized cooperation conferences and meetings at all levels.

The two sides held a special summit in Sunnylands, U.S. in February 2016, and a summit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of dialogue relations in Manila, capital of the Philippines, in November 2017.

The U.S. is a major trading partner of the ASEAN with an estimated total trade of $362 billion last year, nearly double that of 2009. It has also been the bloc’s largest investor for many years.

During this trip, PM Chinh will also work with United Nations leaders in New York, talk with U.S. investors doing business in Vietnam and meet with Vietnamese expats.

He will also pay an official visit to the U.S. after the summit.

Vietnam and the U.S., former foes, normalized relations in 1995.

Recent milestones in bilateral ties include the U.S. fully lifting the lethal arms export ban to Vietnam during President Barack Obama's visit in May 2016; and sending aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to Da Nang in March 2018, marking the biggest U.S. military presence in the country since the Vietnam War ended in 1975.

Bilateral trade surged from $450 million in 1994 to $111.56 billion in 2021.

Speaking to the media in Hanoi on April 20, U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, Marc Knapper, said the U.S. and Vietnam have deepened cooperation on many strategic issues and it was time to upgrade the bilateral relationship.

"Upgrading the relationship with Vietnam to strategic partnership is a priority, not just for myself but the U.S. government," he stressed.

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