Vietnam - US: Twenty years after the historical turning point

VietNamNet would like to present several articles on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Vietnam-US relations. The following is a review of the milestones in the past two decades, from former enemies to comprehensive partners.

Vietnam - US: Twenty years after the historical turning point, vietnam-us relations

President Truong Tan Sang met with his counterpart Barack Obama during the visit to the US in July 2013.

July 11, 1995 marked a turning point in the history of the Vietnam – US relations, when US President William J. Clinton and Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet declared the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

August 5, 1995: Vietnam and the US signed the official document on the establishment of diplomatic relations.

August 6, 1995: Secretary of State Warren Christopher visited Hanoi and officially opened the U.S. Embassy. Vietnam opened an embassy in Washington.

July 12, 1996: U.S. National Security Adviser Anthony Lake visited Hanoi to mark the first anniversary of normalization of relations.

April 10, 1997: The US Senate confirmed Douglas “Pete” Peterson as Ambassador to Vietnam.

June 24, 1997: Secretary of State Madeline Albright arrived in Vietnam on an official visit.

July 25, 1999: USTR Ambassador Richard Fisher and Vietnam Trade Minister Tuyen agreed to a Bilateral Trade Agreement in principle in Hanoi.

March 13, 2000: Secretary of Defense William Cohen became the first US Defense Secretary to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War.

July 13, 2000: Vietnam Trade Minister Vu Khoan and USTR Ambassador Barshefsky sign a Bilateral Trade Agreement at USTR.  President William J. Clinton announces the Agreement at a White House Rose Garden ceremony.

November 16-20, 2000: US President William J. Clinton visited Vietnam.

January 2001: The U.S. Congress passes the Vietnam Education Foundation Act, which provides annual funding of $5 million until 2019 to enable Vietnamese students to study in the United States.

December 9-14, 2001: Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung headed a high level delegation to Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco.

December 10, 2001: The US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement was signed in Washington, D.C. by USTR Ambassador Robert Zoellick and Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Trade Minister Vu Khoan.  

July 17, 2003: The Vietnam-U.S. Garment and Textile Agreement was signed in Hanoi by Vietnamese Minister of Trade Truong Dinh Tuyen and US Ambassador Raymond Burghardt.

November 19, 2003: Navy missile frigate USS Vandegrift docked in Ho Chi Minh City, becoming the first US Navy ship to dock in Vietnam since the end of the war, a symbolic act aimed at boosting relations between Vietnam and the United States.

June 7-12, 2004: Minister of Trade Truong Dinh Tuyen met in Washington with key US government officials to discuss Vietnam's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the US-Vietnam Textile Agreement, and implementation of the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA).

June 19-24, 2005: Prime Minister Phan Van Khai met President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C. in the first visit by a Vietnamese Prime Minister in the post-War period.  During his visit, the two countries signed an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement, as well as agreements on international adoptions, intelligence, and military cooperation.  The Prime Minister, accompanied by more than 100 public and private sector representatives, visited three other cities and signed a number of key business contracts.

July 12, 2005: The 10th Anniversary of the Normalization of US-Vietnam Diplomatic Relations. Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gordon Mansfield visited Hanoi as the White House representative.  

May 14, 2006: The US and Vietnam reached a bilateral agreement-in-principle on Vietnam’s accession to the WTO.

November 17-20, 2006: US President George W. Bush began a four-day visit to Vietnam where he participated in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' meeting.

December 29, 2006: President Bush signs proclamation extending PNTR to Vietnam.

January 11, 2007: Vietnam became the 150th member of the World Trade Organization.

June 18-23, 2007: President Nguyen Minh Triet visited the US. Vice Minister of Post and Telecommunications Nguyen Cam Tu and Deputy USTR Karan Bhatia signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) on June 21.

September 24-29, 2007: Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung paid a five-day visit to New York to attend the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly. PM Dung delivered an important speech at the UNGA and had meetings with world leaders to garner support for Vietnam’s bid for a UN Security Council non-permanent seat. He also met with many US companies and press and visited the New York Stock Exchange.

November 2007: Ambassador Le Cong Phung was appointed Vietnamese Ambassador to the US.

June 23-26, 2008: Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung officially visited the U.S. as a guest of President George W. Bush. During his meeting with high-ranking U.S. officials including leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives and ministers of the Departments of Defense and Treasury, the PM received positive signs for acceleration of bilateral ties in all areas, particularly in economics, trade, investment and education. The results of the PM’s visit marked a new step forward in bilateral relations.

September 30, 2009: US Ambassador Michalak and Ministry of Education and Training Vice Minister Luan signed the long-awaited U.S.-Vietnam Education Task Force Final Report containing recommendations on ways that the US and Vietnamese governments can cooperate to support public-private sector partnerships to improve the Vietnamese educational system and increase the number of Vietnamese studying at American schools. The Report also lays out a roadmap for the development of an American-style university in Vietnam.

March 13, 2010: Vietnam announced to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) as a full member.

March 25, 2010: Vietnam opened a Consulate General in Houston, Texas.

April 22, 2010: Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attended Nuclear Security Summit in the US.

July 22- 23, 2010: Visit to Vietnam by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

October 11 – 12, 2010: Visit to Vietnam by Defense Secretary Robert Gates

October 29 – 30, 2010: Visit to Vietnam by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

July 7, 2011: Vietnamese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Nguyen Quoc Cuong presented Letter of Credential to US President Barack Obama

June 3 – 4, 2012: Visit to Vietnam by US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta

July 10 – 11, 2012: Visit to Vietnam by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

July 2013: President Truong Tan Sang visited the US. The two sides established a comprehensive partnership.

October 2013: Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, and Deputy Minister of Defense visited the US for defense policy dialogues.

December 2013: US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Vietnam.

October 1-2, 2014: Visit to the US by Deputy Prime Minister – Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. The US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the US partially lifted its decades-old embargo on providing lethal military support to Vietnam. The two sides also discussed the East Sea disputes.

March 2015: Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang paid a visit to the US. The two sides agreed to upgrade security cooperation.


Vietnam - US: Twenty years after the historical turning point, vietnam-us relations