Trump meets with Vietnamese Party chief and PM, wrapping up state visit

By VnExpress, AFP   November 11, 2017 | 11:33 pm PT
The U.S. president made it a hattrick of leaders after his meetings with President Tran Dai Quang as he bid farewell on Sunday morning.

U.S. President Donald Trump is greeted by Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at a meeting in Hanoi on Sunday. Trump arrived in the Vietnamese capital on Saturday after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit earlier in the day in Da Nang. Photo by AFP


President Trump shakes hands with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. Photo by AFP


Duing the meeting, Trump congratulated Vietnam on the success of the APEC Summit and said he was deeply impressed with Vietnam, its people and the achievements it has made, adding that the U.S. and Vietnam share many mutual interests and should boost cooperation in the future. Photo by AFP


Trump shakes hands with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. In the meeting with Phuc, Trump raised his concern over U.S.'s $32 billion trade deficit with Vietnam, saying "we have to get rid of the trade imbalance." Photo by AFP


Trump walks hand in hand with Prime Minister Phuc. Last May, PM Phuc became the first Southeast Asian leader to pay an official visit to the White House, in a bid to gauge Trump's policies towards the flashpoint East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, tensions over which have pitted Beijing against Hanoi. Earlier on Sunday, Trump told his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang he was prepared to mediate between claimants to the East Sea. Photo by AFP


Trump bids farewell to PM Phuc as he left Hanoi, wrapping up his first state visit to Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress.


Trump waves goodbye. Photo by VnExpress


Hanoi's Flag Tower watches over as President Trump’s convoy leaves Vietnam’s presidential palace for Noi Bai International Airport, from where he will fly to Manila, the Philippines to attend the ASEAN Summit.


President Trump waves from Air Force One at Noi Bai Airport on Sunday afternoon. Before getting on the plane, Trump witnessed Vietnamese and American businesses signing agreements worth a total of $12 billion as part of his state visit. The deals include an aircraft engine maintenance and purchasing contract and liquified natural gas supply and storage projects. Photo by VnExpress

President Trump arrived for his first state visit to Hanoi on Saturday evening after attending the APEC Summit in Da Nang, around 800 kilometers (500 miles) to the south.

During a press conference held with his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang on Sunday morning, Trump repeated his APEC speech theme of free Indo-Pacific trade relations, saying the U.S. is looking forward to “fair and reciprocal” bilateral trade with Vietnam.

Vietnam is Southeast Asia’s biggest exporter to the U.S., and the U.S. trade deficit with Vietnam is a concern for Trump’s protectionism policy.

“The U.S. is enthusiastic about reforms that promote economic transparency for all in Vietnam” and about looking to “remove unfair trade practices in the region,” he said in Hanoi.

Vietnam is the fourth and longest leg of Trump’s 12-day Asia tour, the longest trip to the region made by an American president in more than a quarter of a century, which is aims to boost ties and seek support in counterating the nuclear threat from North Korea.

He visited Japan, South Korea, China before Vietnam, and will later head to the Philippines where he will attend a dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) before celebrating the 40th anniversary of U.S.-ASEAN relations the following day.

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