A NEW ERA IN US – Vietnam military relations


Since July 11, 1995, when U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the formal normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, U.S. relations with Vietnam have become deeper and more diverse. The two countries have broadened their political exchanges through regular and regional security. Two sides signed a Bilateral Trade Agreement in July 2000, which went into force in December 2001. In 2003, the two countries signed a Counternarcotics Letter of Agreement (amended in 2006), a Civil Aviation Agreement, and a textile agreement. In January 2007, Congress approved Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for Vietnam.
Despite the infamous history of the Vietnam War, Vietnam today is one of the most pro-American countries in Asia, with 71% of Vietnamese people viewing the U.S. favorably in 2002.
Cooperation in military areas, such as defense, nonproliferation, counterterrorism, and law enforcement, is also expanding steadily. Military-to-military relations between Vietnam and the U.S. developed slowly after the normalization of diplomatic relations in July 1995 mainly due to Vietnamese sensitivities and concern that defense relations might outstrip economic ties. In June 2007, Vietnamese observers took part for the first time in the multinational naval exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), organized by the U.S. Navy. U.S.-Vietnam defence relations stepped up noticeably in 2009 when both sides engaged in several high profile but largely symbolic interactions and, more significantly, stepped up defense consultations. Bilateral defence relations were significantly upgraded in 2010 with the convocation of the 1st Defense Policy Dialogue at deputy defence minister level in August. In 2014, the Vietnamese Prime Minister has stated that the country has taken part in international peacekeeping, as part of its contribution as a new member of the UN Security Council.
As a result of Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, the pace of U.S.-Vietnam defence cooperation has quickened. In June 2013, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that he would welcome the U.S. playing a larger role in tempering regional tensions, as China and some of its Southeast Asian neighbors remain deadlocked over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea - "No regional country would oppose the strategic engagement of extra-regional powers if such engagement aims to enhance cooperation for peace, stability and development. We attach special importance to the roles played by a vigorously rising China and by the United States — a Pacific power."
And, with the new move that the U.S. Senate is considering overturning a ban on lethal weapon sales to Vietnam, visiting U.S. Senator Bob Corker said at a meeting in Hanoi on Monday. The senator, who is also a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, made the statement during his talks with Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister, Senior Lieutenant General Truong Quang Khanh. Senator Corker highlighted the fruitful relations between the two countries, and emphasized that the two sides are going to reach an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Vietnam officially welcomes a U.S. military presence in Southeast Asia, and the South China Sea, as long as it contributes to regional peace and security as viewed from Hanoi. Vietnam seeks to reinforce its own security through a multilateral strategy of maintaining good relations with all the major power, especially China, Japan, India, Russia and the United States. Vietnam will continue to cooperate with the U.S. but it will not align with it.
As the new era of ties between Hanoi and Washington nears its 20th anniversary, the relationship is increasingly vital to the national interests of both countries. The United States has identified Vietnam as a critical focus of its rebalance to the Asia Pacific. Vietnam increasingly views the United States as a necessary partner in its search for an independent foreign policy amid a rapidly changing Asia./.
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All comments [ 10 ]

Vân Nhàn 14/8/14 20:14

The gradual evolution of U.S.-Vietnamese political, security and defense dialogues reflects Vietnam’s cautious approach in keeping its relations with China and the United States evenly balanced.

Quân Hoàng 14/8/14 20:17

Hope US will lift the embargo soon, so Vietnam can buy their advanced weapons to facilitate our army.

Lê Tín 14/8/14 20:19

Yes, especially our navy to have enough strength to protect our Fatherland.

Hùng Quân 14/8/14 20:22

We should seize any opportunity to expand military engagement with the United States, including intelligence sharing.

Huy Lâm 14/8/14 20:25

But the goverment should take cautious in relations with the US, we should restrain from military exercises.

Phạm Hiếu 14/8/14 20:28

We need US to balance with China in territorial disputes on Eats Sea.

Huy Quốc 14/8/14 20:31

Vietnam officially welcomes a U.S. military presence in Southeast Asia, and the South China Sea, as long as it contributes to regional peace and security.

Quốc Cường 14/8/14 20:33

U.S. Senator John McCain said in Vietnam on 8th August, 2014 that he will urge the U.S. Congress to lift the ban on lethal weapon sale to Vietnam, a move he said will gradually happen but may kick off as early as next month.
Senator McCain made the statement during his talks with Vietnamese Defense Minister General Phung Quang Thanh in Hanoi.

Hoàng Lân 14/8/14 21:16

Funny that US or China are all our former enemies, so we still have enhanced relations with them but don't trust them. That's globalization!

Quốc Kiên 14/8/14 21:19

Cooperate but still keep distance with them, now national interests are priority, don't be childlike to trust so-called friendship or partnership.

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