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Vietnam Today

Politburo member meets John Kerry in D.C.

Released at: 15:02, 26/10/2016

Politburo member meets John Kerry in D.C.

Photo: US Department of State/Courtesy

Mr. Dinh The Huynh, Politburo Member and Standing Member of the CPV Central Committee's Secretariat in Washington to promote bilateral relations.

by Ha Nguyen

Vietnam hopes that the US will soon recognize it as a market economy, with the US opening up to more Vietnamese agricultural products and cutting trade barriers.

Mr. Dinh The Huynh, Politburo Member and Standing Member of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Secretariat, made the comments during discussions with the US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington D.C. on October 25.

Mr. Huynh, who is visiting the US from October 24-30 at the invitation of Secretary Kerry, expressed his delight at the progress in the two countries’ partnership, in particular the implementation of commitments made by their leaders during the visit by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to the US in July 2015 and the visit to Vietnam by President Barack Obama last May, according to Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

Secretary Kerry said that the US values its relationship with the CPV and considers this an increasingly important channel to enhance relations with Vietnam.

Mr. Huynh reiterated the Party and State’s policy of treasuring friendship and cooperation with the US, alongside the comprehensive partnership.

Economic, trade and investment partnerships need to be enhanced to promote bilateral relations and it is also necessary to strengthen ties in science, education, healthcare, the environment, infrastructure connectivity, renewable energy, and climate change response, he noted.

He also called for stronger defense-security links, including realizing the Joint Vision Statement on Defense Relations, and more people-to-people exchanges, while prioritizing settling the consequences of war and humanitarian aid. Vietnam and the US should also cooperate more at regional and multilateral forums.

Vietnam is preparing to ratify the TPP, Mr. Huynh said, and asked the US to accelerate its ratification of the deal.

Human rights were also discussed, with Vietnam wishing to continue discussions with the US over the issue in an open and constructive manner.

Regarding regional and international problems, Mr. Huynh said that Vietnam welcomes improved US relations with Asia-Pacific countries, including Southeast Asian nations. “Vietnam is willing to work with the US and relevant countries to boost ASEAN’s central role and build ASEAN-led mechanisms to form regional architecture in the 21st century,” he noted.

He spoke highly of Secretary Kerry and the US Government’s attention to the East Sea situation, repeating Vietnam’s view of resolving disputes through peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, with respect to diplomatic and legal processes, and without force, threat to use force, or militarization and unilateral actions.

Vietnam supports the maintenance of peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and efforts to finalize a Code of Conduct.

It also welcomes the active role of countries inside and outside of the region, including the US, in keeping peace and stability in the East Sea and the US’s cooperation in coping with climate change, protecting the environment, and boosting development cooperation in Asia-Pacific, Mr. Huynh was quoted by VNA as saying.

On behalf of Party and State leaders, he invited the next President of the US to visit Vietnam during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in 2017.

At the talks, Secretary Kerry said that the US would work to implement commitments with Vietnam in prioritized areas, in line with the 2013 Joint Statement on the Comprehensive Partnership and the 2015 Joint Vision Statement.

Secretary Kerry said the US’s approach to the East Sea issue is based on the basic principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. “The US calls on all relevant parties to comply with the ruling issued by The Hague tribunal last July, and ensure peace and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea,” he was quoted by VNA as saying.

During the trip, Mr. Huynh also met with US Trade Representative Michael Froman and leaders of the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.

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