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United States Expected to Raise Diplomatic Relations with Vietnam to Highest Level: Impact on China and Russia

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US Expects to Raise Diplomatic Relations with Vietnam

The United States is anticipated to elevate its diplomatic relations with Vietnam to the highest level, a move that may create tensions with China. This decision is likely to be finalized with US President Joe Biden traveling to Hanoi within a week.

Efforts to Persuade Vietnam

Vietnam initially expressed caution about the upgrade due to potential backlash from its larger neighbor, China. In response, the Biden administration has intensified its efforts to convince Vietnam, including through visits from high-ranking US government officials in recent months.

Expected Upgrade

As a result of this unprecedented push, Washington expects Vietnam to be upgraded to the top tier of its diplomatic rankings, alongside China and Russia. Currently, Vietnam is positioned two notches below this top tier.

Public Statements and Reactions

In July, President Biden publicly expressed his expectation for the upgrade. While no official statements have been issued by either government, officials from both countries have informally expressed optimism about this two-step upgrade. However, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has called on the United States to avoid targeting a “third party” when dealing with Asian countries.

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Visits and Meetings

In an attempt to appease Beijing, Vietnam is discussing the possibility of high-profile visits to Hanoi after or even shortly before Biden’s arrival. Chinese President Xi Jinping or Premier Li Qiang may meet with Vietnamese leaders during these visits.

China’s Response

China’s foreign ministry has not yet responded to the idea of such a visit. However, it has been confirmed that Premier Li Qiang will attend the G20 leaders’ summit in India and the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta.

Calculating the Timing

Vietnam’s communist leaders may have decided that now is the best time for this move, as US-China relations are expected to worsen in the future. The potential upgrade may also be driven by Vietnam’s need to boost its economy by gaining capital, technology, and market access.

Military Supplies and Defense Meetings

Although discussions about increasing US military supplies to Vietnam have been ongoing, an immediate agreement is not expected as such talks take time. Meanwhile, Vietnam is engaging in talks with other countries to modernize its Russian-made arsenal and has recently participated in high-level defense meetings with top Russian officials.

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