US aims to strengthen ties with Vietnam amid growing Chinese assertiveness in region

Image Source : AP US President Joe Biden with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping

In response to China’s growing assertiveness in the region, the United States and Vietnam are boosting their economic and tech ties, as part of which President Joe Biden will make a state visit to the Southeast Asian country in a bid to further strengthen bilateral relations, according to reports.

Biden, during his visit, is expected to announce a deal to strengthen the economic ties between the US and Vietnam, news agency ANI reported citing The Washington Post report.

Vietnam is also attempting to strengthen the ties between the two nations.

With the establishment of a “comprehensive strategic partnership”, the United States will have a diplomatic status that Vietnam has so far reserved for only a handful of other countries, including India, Russia, China, and South Korea.

Given the aggressive moves by the Chinese with its military in the region, Vietnam is willing to risk angering Xi Jinping-ruled country, viewing the step toward the US as necessary at the same time, ANI reported citing analysts in the The Washington Post report.

“If you have the United States on the same pedestal as China, that is saying a lot to Beijing, but also to the rest of the region and the world,” said Derek Grossman, a senior defence analyst at Rand Corp and former US intelligence officer.

“That’s saying the US-Vietnam relationship has come a long way since 1995,” when the two countries normalized relations.

In the agreement proposed by the Biden administration in the recent past, the US strategises to build economic and security partnerships in the Indo-Pacific which can help it counter Chinese economic and military coercion.

Due to the agreement which is yet to be officially announced, it is expected that the two countries will have greater economic activity, as the United States seeks to diversify its manufacturing supply chains away from China and as Vietnam aspires to develop advanced technologies, ANI reported citing The Washington Post.

According to a senior official in the Biden administration, American semiconductor firms have expressed “a willingness to support them in that ambition”.

The US is now a top export destination from Vietnam, ANI reported citing The Washington Post. The strengthening of relations between the United States and Vietnam also stands to boost defence and security cooperation.

(With ANI inputs)

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