President Joe Biden said he plans to travel to Vietnam soon as the US seeks to bolster its ties with Asian nations and reduce China’s influence on the region.
(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden said he plans to travel to Vietnam soon as the US seeks to bolster its ties with Asian nations and reduce China’s influence on the region.
“I’m going to be going to Vietnam shortly. Vietnam wants to change our relationship and become a partner,” Biden said Tuesday evening at a Democratic fundraiser in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Biden said other nations were eager to strengthen ties with Washington and referred to an upcoming summit he will hold with the leaders of South Korea and Japan at Camp David.
“We find ourselves in a situation where all of these changes around the world are taking place at a time we have an opportunity to be smart, to change the dynamic. For example, I’m holding an event in Camp David, with South Korea and Japan together. They’ve had a rapprochement,” Biden said.
At a fundraiser last month, Biden had said Vietnam’s leader wanted to meet him on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, which will be in New Delhi in September.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding Biden’s potential trip to the country.
Biden did not provide a timeline for the Vietnam visit but other senior administration officials including Vice President Kamala Harris have already visited the country.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met last month with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Hanoi.
“The United States considers Vietnam a key partner in advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Yellen said in prepared remarks delivered before the meeting.
Read more: Yellen Meets Vietnamese PM as US Seeks to Expand Asia Trade Ties
The US normalized trade relations with Vietnam in 2007 and those links have deepened after then-President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on China. Vietnam is crucial for the US as it seeks to reduce its reliance on a handful of nations for the supply of critical technologies as well as counter Chinese influence in the Asia Pacific.
The White House last month said Biden would host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for a trilateral leaders summit at Camp David on August 18.
The White House in a statement said the leaders would discuss expanding “expanding trilateral cooperation across the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” and address the threat posed by North Korea and efforts to strengthen ties with ASEAN and Pacific Islands.
–With assistance from John Boudreau.
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