President Biden on Monday said the U.S. is entering a “new stage” in its relationship with Vietnam, a rising trading partner that offers an Asian alternative to China.
Mr. Biden also paid respects at a memorial to the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who withstood brutal treatment as a prisoner of war for years in Hanoi.
Fresh off the G20 summit in India, Mr. Biden told Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh that he looked forward to solidifying a relationship focused on economic security, particularly in the semiconductor industry.
“My message today is quite simple. Let’s keep it up,” Mr. Biden said.
Mr. Biden said it is remarkable how far the nations have come in forging their partnership, reminiscing that decades ago he and his friends thought they’d be sent to this country to fight in a war.
The prime minister agreed, declaring the “sky is the limit” in working with the U.S. and said technology and innovation investment are priorities in their
“We truly wish to receive strong political commitment from the U.S. government, including you, Mr. President, who has had great affection for Vietnam,” he said.
The White House and Vietnamese leaders announced a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that calls for greater cooperation in trade, diplomacy, education, health care and science and technology.
U.S.-based Boeing struck a deal with Vietnam Airlines for about 50 aircraft and Arizona-based Amkor Technology plans to open a $1.6 billion factory in Bac Ninh Province.
The U.S. will help to “build Vietnamese capacity to fight regional and international transnational crime,” including illegal fishing as the country engages in maritime disputes with China.
The streets of Hanoi were shut down for Mr. Biden’s motorcade, with military lining the streets and crowds of people out to watch it all unfold.
Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong toasted Mr. Biden at a state lunch that featured flags from both nations and yellow ribbons on the back of the chairs.
The president said Vietnam and the U.S. are working together to identify missing Americans from the Vietnam War.
Mr. Biden hailed a “50-year arc of progress” and highlighted the service of his climate envoy, John Kerry, and McCain for their service in the Vietnam War and efforts in public service later in life.
Mr. Biden stopped at the John Sidney McCain III Memorial in Hanoi.
During the war, McCain famously withstood brutal treatment at a North Vietnamese prison nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton” for several years, leaving him with permanent injuries and earning him praise back home. McCain died in 2018 after a long career in the Senate.
“I miss him. He was a good friend,” Mr. Biden said at the memorial, where he left one of his command coins.
Mr. Biden departed Vietnam for Alaska, where he will mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks with military members and first responders in Anchorage.