Joe Biden to Meet Vietnamese Leaders Amid Rising Geopolitical Tensions

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Joe Biden to Meet Vietnamese Leaders Amid Rising Geopolitical Tensions
Joe Biden to Meet Vietnamese Leaders Amid Rising Geopolitical Tensions © Getty Images News/Win McNamee

United States President Joe Biden is slated to visit Vietnam next month. The White House has confirmed the president's itinerary, noting that he will hold crucial talks with Communist Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong, as well as other key figures in Vietnamese leadership.

Strengthening Ties in the Shadow of the Past

On September 10, following his participation in the annual G20 leaders' summit in India, Biden will touch down in Hanoi. This whirlwind one-day visit underscores Washington's ongoing efforts to counterbalance China's growing dominance in the region.

Reflecting on the forthcoming visit, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre commented, "The leaders will explore opportunities to promote the growth of a technology-focused and innovation-driven Vietnamese economy." But the visit won't only focus on economics.

Jean-Pierre highlighted the broader intent, remarking on the emphasis on "education exchanges and workforce development programs, combating climate change, and increasing peace, prosperity, and stability in the region." This planned meeting is a continuation of Biden's stated intentions from early August, when he announced his upcoming travels to Vietnam.

In his announcement, he alluded to Hanoi's desire to recalibrate its relationship with the US, moving towards partnership. Over the years, the US has made concerted attempts to bolster its ties with Vietnam, especially as the shadows of the Vietnam War gradually recede.

Earlier this year, the strengthening relations were evident when Biden and Trong had a telephonic conversation in March, followed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to the Southeast Asian nation a mere month later.

It is evident from these overtures that Washington regards Hanoi as one of its most trusted allies in the region.

Navigating Delicate Diplomatic Waters

However, as with most geopolitical dynamics, there's another piece on the chessboard that Vietnam must be wary of—China.

The delicate balancing act for Vietnam was underscored last year when Trong became the inaugural foreign leader to meet with President Xi Jinping in Beijing after the Chinese president commenced his third term.

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