|General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Central Committee Nguyễn Phú Trọng and President of the United States Joseph R. Biden Jr. at the welcome ceremony for the US leader in Hà Nội on Sunday. — VNA/VNS Photo Trí Dũng|
HÀ NỘI — Leaders of Việt Nam and the United States of America have issued a Joint Leaders’ Statement on elevating the Việt Nam-US ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership on the occasion of President Joe Biden’s State visit to Việt Nam from September 10-11.
The following is the full text of the statement.
JOINT LEADERS’ STATEMENT: ELEVATING UNITED STATES-VIỆT NAM RELATIONS TO A COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
On September 10, 2023, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Central Committee Nguyễn Phú Trọng and President of the United States Joseph R. Biden Jr. met and held talks in Hà Nội, Việt Nam. The two Leaders hailed a historic new phase of bilateral cooperation and friendship by elevating their nations’ relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for the purposes of peace, cooperation, and sustainable development. The United States supports a strong, independent, prosperous, and resilient Việt Nam.
In the ten years since President Trương Tấn Sang and President Barack Obama formed the Việt Nam–US Comprehensive Partnership, the two countries have made remarkable strides in increasing mutual understanding, building mutual trust, and strengthening cooperation across all areas of the Comprehensive Partnership. Under this new framework, the Leaders underscored the fundamental principles guiding Việt Nam-US relations, including respect for the United Nations (UN) Charter, international law, and respect for each other’s political system, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. Việt Nam and the US will continue to deepen cooperation in the following areas to ensure the interests of the people of both countries and contribute to peace, stability, cooperation, and prosperity in the region and in the world.
POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
The two Leaders underscored the need to continue deepening political and diplomatic relations, and will promote regular exchanges of delegations and engagements at all levels to strengthen mutual understanding and build and enhance political trust. The Leaders supported improving the effectiveness of current dialogue mechanisms and intend to establish an annual dialogue between Việt Nam's Minister of Foreign Affairs and the US Secretary of State. The Leaders pledged to further promote relations between the two countries’ political parties and legislative bodies, including by encouraging dialogue and discussion between these bodies on priorities and each country’s practical experiences. The two Leaders will direct their government agencies to cooperate and effectively implement the cooperation programs as determined by both countries. Both countries affirm to maintain favorable conditions to complete the construction of their diplomatic and consular facilities, and ensure both sides can efficiently staff those facilities in accordance with international conventions to which both countries are parties, bilateral agreements between Việt Nam and the US, and the respective laws of Việt Nam and the US.
ECONOMIC, TRADE, AND INVESTMENT COOPERATION
The two Leaders reaffirmed the importance of economic, trade, and investment cooperation and innovation-driven inclusive economic growth as the core foundations and sources of momentum in the bilateral relationship. Both sides pledged to create favorable conditions and facilitate the further opening of markets for each other’s goods and services, support trade and economic policy, and regulatory measures to achieve this aim; and to address issues such as market access barriers via the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. The US applauds Việt Nam's progress in significant market-based economic reforms, and affirms its enthusiasm and commitment for a broad, strengthened, supportive, and constructive engagement with Việt Nam in its transition to a market economy, and subsequently to market economy country status, under US law. The US noted Việt Nam officially requested the review of its market economy status on September 8, 2023. The US will review Việt Nam's request as expeditiously as possible, in accordance with US law. The US appreciates Việt Nam's ongoing efforts to further modernise and enhance the transparency of its monetary policy and exchange rate management framework, to promote macroeconomic stability, and to ensure the safety and soundness of the banking system.
The Leaders will continue strengthening a non-discriminatory, open, fair, inclusive, equitable, transparent and rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its core. Both sides applauded the progress thus far and look forward to additional substantial progress in the near future under the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), which will deliver concrete benefits to the economies, workers, families, and businesses of the two countries and the region.
The Leaders acknowledged the importance of respect for internationally recognised labour rights based on the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Furthermore, the Leaders intend to accelerate cooperation on strengthening intellectual property rights and aviation, including through negotiations to amend the US-Việt Nam Air Transport Agreement under Open Skies principles.
The United States pledged further support for Việt Nam in manufacturing, high quality digital and physical infrastructure development, just energy transition, sustainable and smart agriculture, and broader and sustained participation in regional and global supply chains, with a particular emphasis on Việt Nam's Mekong Delta region. To that end, the US International Development Financial Corporation (DFC) intends to continue to finance private sector projects in Việt Nam's infrastructure, climate and energy efficiency, healthcare, and small business sectors, including climate-focused and women-owned enterprises.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION, AND DIGITAL COOPERATION
Việt Nam and the US decided to strengthen science, technology, and digital innovation cooperation, regarding this as a new breakthrough of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The US affirmed its commitment to increasing support for Vietnam in the training and development of a high-tech workforce. Acknowledging Việt Nam's tremendous potential as a major player in the semiconductor industry, the two Leaders pledged to support the rapid development of Việt Nam's semiconductor ecosystem and to work together energetically to improve Việt Nam's position in the global semiconductor supply chain. Toward this end, the US and Việt Nam announced the launch of semiconductor workforce development initiatives – supported by initial seed funding of $2 million from the US Government, in conjunction with future Vietnamese government and private sector support.
Việt Nam and the US pledged to comprehensively cooperate in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.
The two Leaders applauded the promotion of secure and reliable digital infrastructure in Việt Nam, affirming its potential to provide new opportunities for digital capability enhancement to Vietnamese innovators to expand the growth of Việt Nam's digital economy. These efforts will aim to include support for open and interoperable network architectures including through exploring the launch of an Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN training lab) in Việt Nam, secure 5G, and adoption of emerging technologies to provide new digital upskilling opportunities to Vietnamese innovators, subject to congressional notification.
The Leaders underscored the importance of continued collaboration between leading academic institutions in the US and Việt Nam, including through joint research initiatives, training courses, fellowships, and exchange programmes focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING COOPERATION
The US announced concrete plans to assist Việt Nam in training a high-quality workforce, contributing to the achievement of Việt Nam's future development goals. The US welcomes the nearly 30,000 Vietnamese students studying in the United States and will encourage American educational institutions to accept a greater number of Vietnamese students. The two Leaders offered congratulations on the launch of Peace Corps operations in Việt Nam and the 31st anniversary of the Fulbright Việt Nam programme. They applauded the work of Fulbright University Việt Nam (FUV) and its growing role as a regional hub for public policy training, recognizing the vital importance of investing in human capital as a critical resource for future prosperity, security, stability, and development.
The US and Việt Nam recognised that enduring prosperity can only be achieved if our people have ample opportunities to learn new skills, exchange ideas, and gain international experience and understanding. Accordingly, the US and Việt Nam will encourage the opening of the doors to their universities and laboratories in order to share best practices, scientific advances, and educational opportunities with each other, with a focus on supporting increasing numbers of Vietnamese students, teachers, scholars, and researchers participating in training and educational programs in the US. Việt Nam also welcomes the increasing number of US students, scholars, and professors who are studying, researching, and teaching in Vietnamese higher-education institutions, and encourages US universities to build partnerships with Vietnamese higher education institutions, to include opening campuses in Việt Nam.
CLIMATE, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, AND HEALTH COOPERATION
The US and Việt Nam will coordinate: in the Mekong and Red River Deltas; multi-sector adaptation to climate change; pollution reduction, and voluntary technical assistance for modernised transmission infrastructure, renewable energy integration, climate market development, energy storage solutions, and the improvement of regulatory framework to enable a speedy and just energy transition. The Leaders recognised the importance of working together, and with experts outside of government, to advance low-emissions, climate-resilient agriculture, biodiversity conservation, pollution reduction, and the resilience of vulnerable communities, including through disaster preparedness efforts. The US supports Việt Nam's efforts to increase clean energy production.
President Biden applauded Việt Nam's climate commitments under its Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), as well as Việt Nam's 2050 net zero greenhouse emissions target. General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng welcomed the US contribution to mobilising public and private financing for Việt Nam's JETP and cooperation with the international community to ensure its successful implementation while ensuring national energy sovereignty, security and affordability. The US committed to assisting Việt Nam with both finance and advanced climate technology to fulfill its international climate commitments. Việt Nam welcomes projects funded by international financial institutions, including the World Bank, in the areas of climate change response, energy transition, green growth, and renewable energy infrastructure.
The two sides commended 25 years of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) in Việt Nam and welcomed the 2021 establishment of the US CDC’s Regional Office in Hà Nội, as well as Việt Nam's commitment to develop a Việt Nam National CDC. The Leaders acknowledge the contributions of US-Việt Nam cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and affirm to expand health security collaboration by working together on pandemic prevention, detection, and response, and other global disease threats. The Leaders affirmed the importance of cooperation on addressing disease threats at the human-animal interface, maintaining progress on immunisation coverage, and supporting public health functions, such as laboratory science and One Health workforce training. The US affirmed its support for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis prevention and control programs, including through assisting Việt Nam's critical medical facilities, such as Bạch Mai and Chợ Rẫy hospitals, with an aim to achieve fully sustainable epidemic control of HIV and put an end to the tuberculosis epidemic by 2030, in line with Việt Nam's global commitments and national plans. The US supports Việt Nam's efforts to expand its domestic pharmaceutical sector as part of global health security cooperation; and in this regard, expresses willingness to strengthen cooperation to increase compatibility of regulatory frameworks so that Việt Nam can play an active role in regional and international medical supply chains.
ADDRESSING WAR LEGACIES
The Leaders commended close cooperation between the two countries to overcome the consequences of war, regarding this as a priority in bilateral relations that contributes to the building of mutual trust and understanding.
The US and Việt Nam affirmed a commitment to completion of dioxin remediation at Biên Hoà Airport, expanding unexploded ordnance removal efforts, expanding support for persons with disabilities, regardless of cause, assisting in capacity building for the Việt Nam National Mine Action Center, including integrating Provincial and National efforts on mine action, and maintaining support for Việt Nam in accounting for Vietnamese missing and fallen soldiers from the war, including further supporting its DNA analysis capability.
President Biden extended the gratitude of the American people for Việt Nam's enduring support for the accounting of and seeking remains of American personnel missing in action. Việt Nam affirmed to continue full cooperation in search of American missing personnel.
CULTURE, PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE TIES, SPORTS, AND TOURISM
The Leaders applauded the robust growth of people-to-people exchanges and will work together to promote two-way tourism, business cooperation, professional and academic exchanges, and study opportunities. Both sides intend to seek to increase cooperation between states in the US and provinces in Việt Nam in a substantive and effective manner, with concrete projects and programs; to strengthen ties among different communities, sectors, businesses, youth, and people’s organisations of the two countries via exchanges of delegations, joint conferences and cultural exchanges in arts, music, and sport; and to collaborate in organising activities on the anniversaries of bilateral relations.
The two Leaders appreciated the substantial contribution of the Vietnamese community in the United States to the development of bilateral relations. President Biden firmly recognised the Vietnamese-American community as among the most successful, dynamic, and innovative in the United States.
DEFENCE AND SECURITY
President Biden congratulated Việt Nam on its important contributions to global peace and stability, including Việt Nam's participation in UN peacekeeping operations, as well as for providing search and rescue and disaster response capabilities to address natural disasters in the world. Both sides intend to continue utilising the established dialogue and consultation mechanisms between the US Department of Defence and Việt Nam's Ministry of Defence, as well as between other agencies and ministries, and to cooperate effectively in humanitarian and constructive efforts such as addressing war legacies, military medicine, UN peacekeeping operations, maritime law enforcement and maritime security capacity, and other areas of mutual interest, in line with existing agreements and understandings between Leaders of both countries and their agencies.
Both sides underscored the importance of strengthening cooperation between law enforcement and criminal justice agencies; decided to deepen ongoing cooperation on law enforcement and security intelligence; collaborate and exchange information and experiences to increase the effectiveness of maritime cooperation and efforts to counter transnational crimes, piracy, money laundering, human trafficking, illegal trafficking of narcotics and precursor chemicals, cybercrime, and high-tech crime. The Leaders decided to establish a Law Enforcement and Security Dialogue track between relevant law enforcement, security, and intelligence agencies. Both countries condemn terrorism and violent extremism in all of its forms and pledge to work together to counter terrorism and terrorist financing in accordance with the UN Charter and other relevant international agreements to which both are Parties.
The Leaders welcome further cooperation in defence industry and defence trade in accordance with each side’s conditions, through mutually agreed mechanisms. The US is committed to continuing to assist Việt Nam to develop its self-reliant defence capabilities in accordance with the needs of Việt Nam and established mechanisms.
PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
The Leaders affirmed the importance of promoting and protecting human rights in accordance with each country’s constitution and international obligations. Both countries pledged continued support for the promotion and protection of human rights, including through frank and constructive dialogues such as the annual Việt Nam-US Human Rights Dialogue and Việt Nam-US Labour Dialogue, to strengthen mutual understandings and narrow differences. They encouraged further cooperation to ensure that everyone, including members of vulnerable groups, regardless of their gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation, and including persons with disabilities, fully enjoy their human rights. The US and Việt Nam noted human rights, regional stability, global peace, and sustainable development are mutually reinforcing. Both sides recognised the contributions that social and religious organisations continue to make in such fields as education, health care, and social services in both countries.
COORDINATION ON REGIONAL AND GLOBAL ISSUES
Both nations intend to enhance coordination on regional and global issues of mutual concern and interest, contributing to the joint efforts to maintain peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and throughout the word. Both sides pledged to enhance coordination and collaboration in regional and international fora such as the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus), as well as the broad range of ASEAN-related sectoral Ministerial meetings. The two sides supported the promotion of multilateralism, respect for international law, including the UN Charter, and the promotion of an open, inclusive regional architecture in which ASEAN plays a central role. Việt Nam appreciates the US’ strong support for ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng welcomed the US' renewed commitment to ASEAN, as reflected in the newly established ASEAN-US Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the 2022 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. President Biden highly valued ASEAN’s achievements and reiterated the US' respect for ASEAN centrality. The Leaders also applauded Indonesia’s 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship and welcomed Lao PDR’s assumption of the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2024. General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng welcomed the US’ role as the host of this year’s APEC forum. President Biden looks forward to welcoming President Võ Văn Thưởng to San Francisco for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in November.
The Leaders underscored their unwavering support for the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, without the threat or use of force, as well as freedom of navigation and overflight and unimpeded lawful commerce in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea), respect for sovereignty, and for sovereign rights and jurisdiction of coastal states over their exclusive economic zones and continental shelves in accordance with the international law of the sea as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Leaders recognized the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety, and reaffirmed their support for ASEAN efforts to conclude an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, one that is in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS and does not prejudice the rights of any state under international law.
The two Leaders underscored the critical importance of the Mekong sub-region in maintaining stability, peace, prosperity, cooperation, and sustainable development. Transboundary cooperation and sustainable development are crucial as the two countries jointly address new challenges and opportunities including food security and sustainable water management, supporting communities and their livelihoods, promoting economic connectivity, tackling non-traditional security issues, and working to provide opportunities for human resource development. Both sides welcomed the Mekong-US Partnership and other Mekong-centred mechanisms such as the Mekong River Commission and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS). The Leaders committed to working closely with other Mekong countries toward expanded collaboration within this framework, as well as in the Friends of the Mekong.
The Leaders stressed the importance of the full implementation of the ASEAN Five Point Consensus and echo ASEAN’s calls for the immediate cessation of violence and de-escalation among all concerned parties in Myanmar in order to create conducive environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and inclusive national dialogue.
Both Leaders discussed other regional and international issues of mutual concern and underscored the importance of the peaceful resolution of all disputes in accordance with the UN Charter, seeking to ensure people’s safety and the protection of infrastructure critical to their livings.
The US and Việt Nam reaffirmed support for the establishment of a durable peace on and the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and urged all parties concerned to fully and strictly fulfill their international obligations and commitments, including under relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
On Ukraine, the two leaders emphasized the need for establishing a comprehensive, just, and durable peace in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.
Since normalisation of bilateral relations in 1995, the Việt Nam-US relationship has flourished vigorously and fruitfully, growing both in depth and substance. This new chapter will bring our partnership to new heights. Together, we will realize the aspirations of the people of our countries for a bright and dynamic future that contributes to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation and development across a crucial region and the world at large. — VNS