Information about the visit was released by Le Thi Thu Hang, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during a regular press briefing held on July 22.
“The visit of US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin continues to contribute to strengthening the friendly and trusted relationship between both nations’ people and militaries, and realising agreements reached by senior leaders within the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership framework,” Hang said.
This comes after Japanese media outlet Nikkei reported that the US Defence Secretary will begin his visit to Southeast Asia on July 23, with stops in Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. This will mark the first visit to the region by a top official in President Joe Biden's administration.
"Secretary Austin's visit will demonstrate the importance the Biden-Harris Administration places on Southeast Asia and on ASEAN as an essential part of the Indo-Pacific's architecture," said John Kirby, a spokesman for the Pentagon.
Ahead of the visit, the US Embassy in Hanoi said, "This trip will underscore the enduring US commitment to the region, and our interest in upholding the rules-based international order in the region and promoting ASEAN centrality."