In a historic moment, President Biden’s visit to Vietnam signifies the emergence of a profound milestone as it heralds the formalization of a comprehensive strategic partnership between these two nations. According to insights shared by Jon Finer, Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor, the significance of this visit cannot be understated, as it underscores the pivotal roles played by the United States and Vietnam as “critical partners at a critical time.”

Finer conveyed that the implications of this partnership extend far beyond mere rhetoric. “In a system like Vietnam’s, it’s a signal to their entire government, to their entire bureaucracy about the depth of cooperation and alignment with another country.”

Upon his arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, President Joe Biden, accompanied by Secretary of State Tony Blinken, descended from Air Force One at precisely 4:01 p.m. local time.

They were welcomed with a red-carpeted reception adorned with Cymbidium orchids and a ceremonial honor guard comprised of approximately a dozen troops in crisp white uniforms and high black boots.

The arrival proceedings were marked by their simplicity and efficiency, with both leaders swiftly transitioning to the motorcade within a matter of minutes.

During the flight, Jon Finer provided insights into various geopolitical matters. He defended the G20 declaration’s language on Ukraine, hailed the strategic relationship to be sealed in Vietnam and suggested it was no surprise that Vietnam would still be making arms deals with its longtime partner Russia. He said the whole situation has to be looked at in context.

“Vietnam has had a decades long relationship with Russia,” Finer said, although the Americans sense an “increasing discomfort with that relationship.” Biden is working to convince not just Vietnam but a number of countries around the world to move away from Russia. “This is going to be a work in progess.”

Finer noted that the G20 leaders signed up the Bali language last year and have supported UN resolutions. “The joint statement issued yesterday builds on that to send an unprecedented and unified statement, ” he said. President Biden is actively engaged in persuading not only Vietnam but several nations worldwide to recalibrate their associations with Russia. “This statement is a major step forward in this effort,” added Finer.

President Biden was “very pleased” with MBS’s support for the economic corridor but they had “no substantive conversation” during the weekend. Biden did talk with the leaders of Indonesia and Nigeria.  “We believe he had an interaction with just about every other leader of the G20″ except Sergey Lavrov and the Chinese premier.

Addressing the impact of Elon Musk’s decision to turn off Starlink services in Ukraine, Finer emphasized the vital role that Starlink has played for Ukrainians during the conflict.

“We think they should continue to have that access,” he said.

President Biden’s visit to Vietnam has garnered positive responses even from Republicans.

“The signing of a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ agreement between the United States and Vietnam will only strengthen deterrence against the growing aggression of China in the Indo-Pacific,” said the House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul.

“This partnership represents a new chapter in U.S.— Vietnam relations and is an important step in maintaining regional security and the global balance of power. From growing investment and trade, to bolstering bilateral technology cooperation, including semiconductors, the United States looks forward to working with Vietnam to strengthen rule of law and governance and maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.”

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department at...

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