US-Vietnam Relations – An Overview

US-Vietnam Relations - An Overview

Vietnam’s Communist Secretary General Nguyen Pho Trunga and US President Joe Biden have upgraded their country’s diplomatic ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, which is considered the highest form of partnership for Vietnam. This partnership was the result of China’s aggressive action in claiming islands in the South China Sea and building military bases on them, thereby making it clear that the entire South China Sea belongs to them. This claim of course violated many countries’ sovereign territorial waters including Vietnam, but also other countries like Singapore and US-allied countries like the Philippines.

When asked, China’s foreign minister spoke out against the new US-Vietnamese relationship stating that Washington still has a cold war mentality. Chairman Xi Jinping also responded to this new partnership stating that the US should look over what they are doing in Southeast Asia. This statement is probably a response to the US influence In the Southeast Asian regions. Chinese officials have accused the US of bringing Vietnam into its sphere of influence. However, this is far from a Cold War move, Vietnam’s decision to upgrade its relationship with the US was to settle disputes on the South China Sea while receiving benefits to both countries with economic and social benefits. Vietnamese officials have also stated that the Vietnamese government is going to be neutral in a conflict with the US and China.

Most people are surprised because, despite having different ideologies and having a 20-year-long war fought against each other, the US and Vietnam relationship has been steady. The first sign of the US and Vietnam relationship improving was during the Clinton administration in which President Clinton was the first US president to Visit Hanoi since the US troop withdrawal in 1975, 2016 President Barack Obama visited Vietnam easing some long-time restrictions which helped Vietnam’s economy rise and helped the counter china in the south China sea.

Ever since the end of the Vietnam War, Vietnamese officials have kept close ties with the US even after the war. The reason for this is that Vietnam officials at the time wanted to build a foundation of trust between the two nations and hopefully overcome the legacies of war and find mutual support for each other, this early foundation would eventually pay off with Clinton’s administrations visiting Vietnam. This is one of the few examples of a country reconciling with its enemy and becoming close partners.

The United States throughout the decades has been relying on China for most of its manufactured products like toys machinery and other daily necessities. However, growing tension in the South China Sea has made both countries’ relationship sour, and the US has been opening up more deals neighboring countries to move there manufacturing market. The US planned this because, just in case China ever stopped trading with the US, they would not be affected in the long run.

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