US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi on Tuesday for a two- day visit aimed to promote all-sided cooperation and bring the United States closer to Vietnam.
This is Clinton’s third visit to Vietnam within three years ( the previous two visits in 2010), which, besides other visits by US high-ranking officials to the country so far this year, is believed to further promote the all-sided bilateral ties between Vietnam and the United States.
At the press briefing after talks with her Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi, Clinton said that at the talks the two sides were working on a lot of issues, including maritime security, public health, disaster relief, economic growth, as well as Agent Orange and unexploded ordnance issues.
The United States appreciates Vietnam’s contribution to a collaborative diplomatic resolution of the disputes and the ease of tension in the South China Sea, she said.
On the same day, Hillary Clinton is to pay courtesy call to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong.
She also joined US businessmen in a meeting held by the US- ASEAN Business Council in Hanoi, and attended the 20th anniversary of the Fulbright Scholarships at the Hanoi University of Foreign Trade.
In recent years, the Vietnam-US relationship has witnessed rapid development in many areas, including military ties. In June this year, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited Vietnam and got aboard a US vessel anchored in central Cam Ranh Port. During talks with Vietnamese Minister of Defense Phung Quang Thanh, Panetta said that his visit to Vietnam was aimed at building confidence and mutual understanding between the two countries and armies, on the basis of respect for each side’s sovereignty.
He said Vietnam and the United States should further expand cooperation in all areas in the coming time, including cooperation in security and defense.
Earlier in February, Assistant to the US Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell, also visited Vietnam, during which he confirmed that Washington wants to further promote ties with Vietnam towards a strategic partnership.
So far this year, groups of US vessels, one after another, have anchored at Vietnamese ports. On April 23, the USBlue Ridge warship from the US Navy’s Fleet 7, together with the destroyer- escorted warship USChafee, the USNS Safeguard ship, and sailors of the Task Force 73 and logistics force of the western Pacific region, mobile coast guards and divers, docked at Tien Sa port in Vietnam’s central Da Nang City.
On June 22, the US Navy’s scientific research vessel, Roger Revelle, docked at the same port for a 8-day visit to the city.
Concurrent with Hillary’s arrival on Tuesday, more than 1,200 civil and military staffs from many countries on board the USNS Mercy hospital vessel of the US Navy docked at Cua Lo Port in Vietnam’s central Nghe An province for a 15-day visit.
Bilateral trade ties have also finely developed since the Vietnam-US Bilateral Trade Agreement was enacted in December 2001. Two-way trade turnover increased ten times, from 1.5 billion US dollars to 21.45 billion US dollars at the end of 2011, a year-on-year increase of 19.16 percent.
Currently, the United States ranks sixth among foreign countries and regions investing in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of 11.6 billion US dollars.