|Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lê Thị Thu Hằng. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lê Thị Thu Hằng on Thursday reiterated Việt Nam’s consistent foreign policy of not “joining forces with one country in the opposition of another.”
She stressed Việt Nam’s stance of “independence, self-reliance, multilateralism, diversification, and promoting ties with partners, especially key partners,” when asked about the frequent visits from high-ranking US officials at a press conference held online from Hà Nội.
“Việt Nam always attaches great importance to consolidating and strengthening relations with China and the US, which are two of Việt Nam’s biggest partners in many fields, with a view of advancing the interests of the two peoples, and for the sake of peace and development in the region as well as in the world,” the Vietnamese diplomat said.
In July, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Việt Nam during his Southeast Asia tour and was welcomed by his Vietnamese counterpart Phan Văn Giang, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
Just a short time afterwards, the White House announced that Vice President Kamala Harris would visit Việt Nam and Singapore in August, with an agenda ranging from the COVID-19 response to climate change and regional security.
“Currently, the two sides are coordinating to prepare and arrange for the visit by US Vice President Kamala Harris on the basis of the Việt Nam-US Comprehensive Partnership, which has been growing well on all fronts, contributing to the peace, stability, cooperation and development of the region and the world,” Hằng said.
Details and schedules will be announced at an “appropriate time,” Hằng added.
Reporters at the press briefing pointed out that while the US has donated 5 million doses of vaccine (Moderna), China has only donated 500,000 doses of Sinopharm.
Hằng said that amid the global shortage, while the COVID-19 pandemic is progressing unpredictably due to the emergence of new dangerous variants of coronavirus, any help and support from partners is very “valuable and much appreciated.”
“The provision of information, experience, resources, vaccine and vaccine production technology, or medicines to countries – especially developing ones – is of great importance, and will contribute a great deal to regional and global efforts toward COVID-19 prevention and control,” she said.
Việt Nam looks forward to further assistance from its international partners and organisations in combating the pandemic and is thankful to those who have already provided assistance, Hằng said.
The Vietnamese diplomat also said that in order to increase the number of vaccines in the country, Việt Nam would diversify its vaccine supplies and is in active discussions with many countries and partners and vaccine makers around the world – including China. — VNS