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Donald Trump to visit Vietnam for APEC Summit

Released at: 19:06, 30/09/2017

Donald Trump to visit Vietnam for APEC Summit

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and President Donald Trump at a meeting in White House on May 31, 2017. (Photo: VNA)

Visit part of regional tour from November 3 to 14.

by Quang Huy

US President Donald Trump will visit Vietnam in November to attend the APEC Summit as part of a regional tour, the White House has confirmed, amid growing uncertainty over Washington’s commitment to Southeast Asia.

This will be the first time Mr. Trump has traveled to Asia since taking office. He will also attend the ASEAN meeting in the Philippines and stop in Japan, South Korea, and China during the November 3 to 14 trip.

The President’s Asia tour demonstrates “his continued commitment to the alliances and partnerships of the US in the region,” the White House said in a statement on September 29.

The confirmation came after Mr. Trump appeared non-committal about his planned visits to Vietnam and the Philippines two weeks ago.

The six-day APEC Summit will open on November 6 in the central city of Da Nang, with other world leaders including China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin expected to attend.

Plans for Mr. Trump’s trip to also entail an official State-level visit to Vietnam are under discussion. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son told VET that Mr. Trump’s schedule is tight and both sides are still discussing the matter.

Vietnam is Southeast Asia’s largest exporter to the US. After becoming President, Mr. Trump withdrew the US from the TPP - a mammoth US-led trade deal whose 12 members make up nearly 40 per cent of global GDP - dismantling the signature policy of his predecessor Barack Obama, who visited Vietnam in May 2016.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid an official visit to the White House in May, beginning a series of Washington visits by Southeast Asian leaders.

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