The United States and Vietnam on August 25 signed an agreement on the location of new embassies in the capitals of both countries on the occasion of Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Vietnam.
Writing on Facebook, the US embassy said that “the United States will soon have a new home in Vietnam,” adding that Ms. Harris had joined Chargé Chargé d’affaires Christopher Klein, Mr. Chu Ngoc Anh, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee and Mr. Bui Duy Cuong, Director of Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment “attend the important signing ceremony on leasing land for construction of the new US Embassy Complex.”
“This new lease of land allows us to undertake the construction of the new Embassy Complex and strengthen our bilateral cooperative partnership,” the US State Department added. “With this iconic milestone, the U.S. Mission to Vietnam remains committed to continuing to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Vietnam — with trust, mutual understanding, and commitment for a strong, independent and prosperous Vietnam.”
According to the US embassy, the budget for the project of the US side is about $1.2 billion and the land is leased for 99 years, where the new US diplomatic mission will be built, with an area of 3.2 hectares.
The US diplomatic service also said that the new headquarters of the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington, DC, is also leased for 99 years and is located near the Diplomatic Corps (Embassy Row), where many foreign diplomatic missions in Washington are located.
Dr. Ha Hoang Hop, Vietnam’s international affairs expert and a guest senior researcher at the ISEAS Institute (Southeast Asian Studies – Singapore), said that he “appreciated this visit of Vice President Kamala Harris because the schedule, the program she laid out with the main points has been done well.”
He added about the agreement on the location of the two countries’ embassies:
“Yes, it is certainly an important sign, showing that the United States values Vietnam as a country of great power and importance in terms of geopolitics, geostrategy and economic and trade in the country in the Southeast Asia region. It also demonstrates that the United States has taken a very concrete step to implement its Indo Pacific strategy in the context of tension in this Southeast Asia region, especially in the region. The South China Sea, has become more tense and complicated.”
According to the US side, after the US and Vietnam normalized diplomatic relations in 1995, the Vietnamese government “committed to the US a site for the construction of the Embassy Complex in Hanoi.”
The US embassy’s statement continued: “Continuing to build on the growing partnership between the two countries, the United States and Vietnam have reached an agreement on the current location for the headquarters of new Embassy in 2019. Earlier this year, the Hanoi People’s Committee approved the leasing of the place to the United States and issued a Decision on Land Lease. The signing ceremony of the land lease agreement today is the result of these commitments between the two countries.”
The design of the new US embassy building is “inspired by Ha Long Bay located in the northeast of Vietnam, demonstrating a forward-looking, dynamic, adaptive and transparent approach to policy of the United States” and “the landscape design of the Embassy Complex is inspired by the traditions of horticulture and rice production, such as the topography of the Mekong Delta and the Red River Delta, and there is a connection with the inherent history of the area where the Complex is located, which was originally a rice field in the early 2000s.”