(Washington) The head of the American diplomacy Antony Blinken will go to Vietnam at the end of the week to underline the increasingly close relations there with the communist country, as well as in Japan, in full tensions with China over Taiwan, the State Department announced Monday.
Blinken will stop in Hanoi en route to a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Karuizawa, Japan, from April 16-18, according to a statement.
He will address in the Vietnamese capital “our shared vision of an Indo-Pacific region that is prosperous, peaceful and resilient”, said the State Department.
Relations between the United States and Vietnam have grown stronger in recent years, including in the military and economic realms, as the two countries have largely reconciled despite the scars of war.
“I think what you’ll see during this visit…is that it’s also about a partnership based on mutual respect,” the Under Secretary of State for Southeast Asia, Daniel Kritenbrink.
The diplomat also highlighted “almost complete alignment between Washington and Hanoi on what we want to see the Indo-Pacific region become…where big countries don’t harass” others, in a thinly veiled allusion to China with which Hanoi maintains tense relations.
The issue of human rights in Vietnam, where “the picture is mixed” according to the official, should also feature in discussions with Vietnamese authorities.
This will be the US Secretary of State’s first visit to Vietnam since taking office two years ago, but Vice President Kamala Harris has been there before.
Mr. Blinken will also launch the start of the construction of a new American embassy in Hanoi there, according to the same source.
This visit to Asia comes amidst tensions with China over Taiwan.
China’s military said on Monday it had “successfully completed” its three-day military maneuver to encircle the autonomous island of Taiwan, which Beijing claims as one of its provinces, in retaliation for the President’s stopovers last week. Taiwanese in the United States.
Separately, Mr. Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin are due to meet with their Filipino counterparts in Washington on Tuesday.
The Philippines and the United States recently signed an agreement providing American access to four new military bases, angering Beijing.
Mr. Blinken will travel to Hanoi from Ireland, where he will accompany President Joe Biden who is traveling to that country and the United Kingdom from April 11 to 14 with a stopover in Northern Ireland on the occasion of the 25th anniversary. of the Good Friday Peace Agreement.