US House Subcommittee’s hearing on US-Vietnam relations

VietNamNet Bridge – The US House Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on June 5 held a hearing on US-Vietnam relations with Representative Steven Chabot in the chair.

US House Subcommittee, US-Vietnam relations, Asia Pacific region, TPP

Joseph Y. Yun

Addressing the hearing, Joseph Y. Yun, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs said that US-Vietnam relations are becoming an increasingly important partnership. The relationship is built on mutual benefits in a stable and prosperous Asia Pacific region.

Joseph Y. Yun especially laid stress on the results of cooperation between the two nations over the past 18 years since the normalization of their relations.

Bilateral trade has by far jumped to US$25 billion and the US has poured more than US$10 billion in direct investment into Vietnam, he said.

The current US economic cooperation program with Vietnam is focused on speeding up the Tran Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations to help both nations expand their commodity markets.

Since the successful assumption of its role as ASEAN Chair, Vietnam has raised its status as a regional leader. Vietnam and the US have worked together within ASEAN and other regional organizations to compare notes on major issues facing East Asia such as maritime security, humanitarian aid and rescue work.

The US supports  ASEAN and Vietnam’s efforts in negotiations with China on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Sea of the Law (UNCLOS).

The US supports every effort to settle disputes with no use of force or threat to use force. The two nations are closely coordinating to stimulate the development of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) under the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI).

Both nations show their keen interests in dealing with regional and global issues of common concern to maintain peace and security in Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific.

The US applauds Vietnam’s commitments on non-proliferation of nuclear weapon. The former is cooperating with the later to ensure maritime security and combat trafficking and piracy.

The two sides agreed to promote the exchange of military delegations and organize joint rescue and search training programs.

The US hails Vietnam’s participation in UN peace keeping activities in 2014.

Joseph Y. Yun also reviewed the results of cooperation between the two countries in Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Affairs (POW/MIA). He said is committed to helping Vietnam deactivate bombs and landmines left over from the war and clean up Agent Orange (AO) in some Vietnamese territorial areas.

Education cooperation and cultural exchange is the field of both sides’ concern. As many as 15,000 Vietnamese students are studying at US universities and colleges, making Vietnam rank 8th in terms of student enrolment in the US.

The US appreciated discussions on constitutional amendments in Vietnam and is committed to respecting Vietnam’s independence and sovereignty.

The Assistant Secretary acknowledged the important role of the Vietnamese community in the US in fostering the development of Vietnam-US relations.

In his address at the hearing, Representative Eni Faleomavaeg dwelled on the heavy consequences of war due to a large volume of AO, bombs and landmines left over in Vietnam. He urged the US Government and Congress to share responsibility for helping Vietnam overcome the consequences.

Source: VOV

US House Subcommittee, US-Vietnam relations, Asia Pacific region, TPP