The US government has re-committed to a comprehensive partnership with Vietnam and wants to strengthen cooperation with the government of the Southeast Asian country in many areas, including maritime security, according to the White House.
A new statement released by the White House said that US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had a telephone conversation with Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh on July 1, in which Mr. Sullivan affirmed the commitment of the US in the comprehensive partnership with Vietnam.
In the same phone call, according to a statement by Spokeswoman Emily Horne for the National Security Adviser, Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Minh discussed ways to deepen cooperation between the two countries in various fields such as maritime security, the Mekong region, dealing with climate change, and coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Minh called this a “productive” conversation. In a post on Twitter, Vietnam’s deputy prime minister said he and President Joe Biden’s national security adviser “discussed ways to strengthen the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership, the regional and international issues of mutual concern.”
Reporting on this phone call, Vietnam’s government website VGP News said that the two sides agreed to assess that the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership “continues to grow strongly” in all fields and “contribute to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.”
According to the statement released by the White House, Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Minh also discussed the South China Sea issue, including the US’s support for the 2016 La Haye Arbitral Tribunal’s ruling five years ago in the case of the Philippines which rejected China’s sovereignty claims over most of the South China Sea.
During the phone call, the White House security adviser and the Vietnamese deputy prime minister agreed to settle disputes in the South China Sea on the basis of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), according to VGP News.
Mr. Sullivan highly appreciated the increasingly important role of Vietnam in the region and in the world, according to VGP. Meanwhile, according to a statement released by the White House, Mr. Sullivan emphasized the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to ASEAN’s centrality and the essential role the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plays in the architecture of the Indo-Pacific as well as a commitment that the US administration will continue to engage at a high level with Vietnam and its partners in the region.
Also in a phone conversation with the US national security adviser, Mr. Minh expressed his wish that the US side would continue to support Vietnam so that Vietnam could soon receive the vaccine source that Washington has committed to Vietnam, according to VGP News.
The Biden-Harris administration recently pledged to share 500 million doses of vaccine with 92 countries around the world this year and next through the global COVAX program, including Vietnam. Earlier, the incumbent US administration also announced a plan to share 80 million doses of the vaccine with the countries that are most resistant to the outbreak of the new strain of COVID. Vietnam is also among Asian countries receiving the US vaccine, but it is unclear how many doses Vietnam will get.