Overcoming many challenges, Vietnam and the U.S. normalized their bilateral diplomatic relations in 1995.

On July 11, 1995, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the normalization of relations with Vietnam. Only hours later, Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet issued a statement on the normalization. The event opened a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (right) receives U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The two countries have successfully turned from former foes to friends and comprehensive partners in all fields, from politics-diplomacy, economy, education and science-technology to defense - security, with increasingly reinforced momentum and expanded scope of substantive and effective cooperation.

With the vision and political determination of generations of leaders of the two countries, Vietnam and the U.S. have overcome many difficulties and obstacles to establish a comprehensive partnership on the basis of respecting independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political regimes of each other. These principles have been reflected in the cooperation fields between the two countries.

Vietnam and the U.S. officially established a comprehensive partnership on July 25, 2013. This is an important step in the relations between the two countries.

Since then, the Vietnam-U.S. comprehensive partnership has been developing extensively, effectively, and substantively in the bilateral, regional, and international aspects.

The crucial foundation for the development of the relations is both sides’ affirmation of fundamental principles, such as respecting each other's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and equal and win-win cooperation on the basis of international law.

This has created a basis for the two sides to strengthen their political and diplomatic relations through the regular exchange of all-level visits, thus enhancing understanding and deepening the relationship.

The visits to the US by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in 2015, 2017 and 2022, respectively; and the visits to Vietnam by President Barack Obama, President Donald Trump in 2017 and 2019, and Vice President Kamala Harris in 2021 were prominent events in the high-level delegation exchanges between the two countries.

2023 is an important milestone in the Vietnam-US relations as the year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of their comprehensive partnership (2013-2023).

During phone talks between Party General Secretary Trong and U.S. President Joe Biden on March 29, the two leaders spoke highly of the positive and comprehensive development of the relationship between the two countries over the past time. They agreed to promote, develop and deepen the bilateral relationship for the sake of the two nations, and for peace, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.

At a meeting with US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper on June 5, 2023, President Vo Van Thuong stressed that Vietnam and US have made significant strides in their relations over the past 28 years since the normalization of diplomatic ties, with collaboration across all fields.

Vietnam always attaches great importance to its relationship with the US, and considers the country as one of its leading partners, he said, adding that the results achieved in the bilateral relationship are in line with the aspiration of the two peoples. 

On the basis of the increasingly open political relations, bilateral economic cooperation, trade, and investment exchanges have developed strongly. Since the normalization of relations, trade turnover between the two countries has increased more than 240 folds, from half a billion USD in 1995 to more than 120 billion USD in 2022. In the first six months of 2023, the trade hit 51.29 billion USD.

The U.S. has become the first export market of Vietnam to surpass the 100 billion USD mark, while Vietnam is now the 7th largest trading partner of the U.S. The US’s direct investment in Vietnam reached 11.73 billion USD, ranking 14th among the countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

The U.S.’s direct investment in Vietnam reaches 11.73 billion USD, ranking 14th among the countries and territories investing in Vietnam. (Photo for illustration)

The U.S. continues to work closely with Vietnam in addressing war consequences, improving maritime law enforcement capabilities, and participating in U.N. peacekeeping operations. The two sides have also cooperated more and more effectively at multilateral forums such as ASEAN, the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, and the Mekong Sub-region, in addressing regional and international issues of mutual concern such as sustainable development and climate change adaptation.

Other fields of cooperation such as education - training, science - technology, and health have recorded significant results. There are 23,000 to 25,000 Vietnamese students studying in the U.S. every year. Vietnam ranks first in Southeast Asia and fifth in the world in the number of students studying in the U.S.

The US remains in the top five in terms of international arrivals to Vietnam, averaging 800,000 per year before the COVID-19 pandemic. Vietnam is striving to welcome 1 million U.S. tourists.

Cooperation between localities and people-to-people exchanges have been also strengthened, facilitating economic cooperation, and contributing to enhancing mutual understanding between the two countries.

Source: VNA