|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and US President Donald Trump ( L) (Photo: VGP)
The first positive landmark in positive relations came on July 11, 1995, when leaders of the country and the US declared to the world that both sides had officially normalised relations and put aside the past in an effort to open a new chapter. The past 25 years have therefore seen joint co-operation consistently expand and strengthen across a variety of fields in an effective and substantive manner.
Mutual ties, from former enemies to comprehensive partners, has become a role model in terms of modern international relations.
Upon discussing the time when late Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet declared the normalisation of diplomatic ties with the US, Xuan said that July 12, 1995, was an important step in the two nations’ relationship.
As former Secretary of State John Kerry, a US veteran from the war in Vietnam, alongside John Mc.Cain, two prominent senators in the US political arena, once said, there is no relationship like that enjoyed by both sides due to the transformation from former enemies into friends.
As we move toward the 25-year milestone of mutual ties, the two countries have faced numerous difficulties and challenges in the past, although Democratic Senator John Kerry and Republican Senator John Mc.Cain have become vocal supporters of normalised relations.
|Ngo Quang Xuan, former Ambassador, Head of the Vietnamese Delegation to the UN and international organisations
Following the conclusion of the war, they returned to their homeland and realised that the conflict was riddled with issues, thereby hoping to push the two countries toward normalising their relationship by making every effort to deal with sensitive issues such as Americans who had gone missing in the war and human humanitarian assistance, the former Ambassador said.
Statistics indicate that the US has now become a major market for Vietnamese goods, with local firms increasingly expanding their operations in the US. Most notably, in terms of trading ties, two-way trade increased from US$450 million in 1994 to approximately US$70 billion in 2019, thus bringing mutual benefits to relations for both sides.
Although the US initially extended negotiations for the Vietnam's entry into the World Trade Organization, they later became very supportive. A high point in relations came when both sides signed a bilateral trade agreement in 2000, with the subsequent period seeing both nations redouble efforts to overcome barriers, such as anti-dumping tax and non-tariff.
At present, ties between the two countries have developed across a broad range of fields. With regard to education, Vietnamese students and the Vietnamese community in the US make up the largest number in the US, with up to 4.5 million. Relations in other areas such as security and defence have also began to develop. It was not a coincidence when US President Donald Trump chose Hanoi as the venue in which to meet Korean President Kim Yong Un, with the occasion showing the world recognition of the strength of Vietnam-US relations, Xuan said.
The US also has direct interests in boosting relations with the nation. This is because they see potential in foreign affairs, not only in economic terms, but also in trade, and other fields, the Vietnamese former diplomat said. Xuan concluded by adding that with increased momentum, the two countries’ relationship will continue to grow stronger moving forward.