Biden strengthens ties with Vietnam in Hanoi, aiming to expand economic influence in China’s vicinity.

HANOI, Vietnam—President Joe ‌Biden’s Historic Visit to Vietnam

President Joe Biden arrived in Vietnam on‍ Sunday after wrapping up his meetings at ⁢the Group of 20 summit in India. Upon his arrival, the president participated in ⁢a bilateral meeting with Communist Party leader Nguyễn Phú ‍Trọng, and both leaders formally announced an elevated partnership, ‍sending a strong ​message to China.

The Vietnamese government ⁢has promoted the United States to the highest level of relationship, known as a “comprehensive strategic partner.” So far, only China, ⁤Russia, India, and South ‌Korea have achieved this degree of⁢ partnership with Hanoi.

President Biden called the visit “historic” during a press conference following his ⁣meeting.‍ He praised ⁢the progress⁢ in relations between both countries, from ‌”conflicts to‌ normalization,” with this new elevated status.

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The⁤ two leaders ​reportedly spoke on the phone months ago and‌ agreed to elevate ‌the partnership.

Upon his​ arrival, President Biden participated in a welcome ceremony hosted by⁤ Mr. Trọng in front of the Presidential Palace.

Later, the president and the general secretary met in a big wood-paneled ‍conference room at the communist party headquarters,⁤ a building ⁢with ⁤a ⁣hammer and sickle on the front just across the street from the palace.

The communist party​ leader enthusiastically welcomed the president and stated that their meeting would be a vital opportunity to deepen the relationship.

“May your visit ​to Vietnam ‍be a great ⁤success,” he said.

He went on to laud President Biden’s ‍appearance despite his age.

“You have nary aged ‍a day and I would say you⁢ look even better than before,” he said, adding “Every feature ⁢of you, Mr. President, is⁤ very much complimentary of‍ your image.”

“I think we have an enormous opportunity,” President Biden said in response, adding ⁢that the partnership is coming at‍ a critical time.

“I’m not saying that to be polite. I’m ⁣saying ​it because I mean it from‍ the‌ bottom​ of my ​heart.”

He mentioned cooperation on supply ⁢chains and climate change.

“This​ can be the beginning of an even ​greater era of cooperation.”

During⁣ the press conference, President Biden was ‍bombarded with questions⁣ about⁣ growing tensions with China.

“I am sincere about getting the relationship back on track, but China is changing the rules of the game,” President Biden said, referring to concerns about the new ban on iPhones. “I don’t want to contain China,” he added.

He also noted that Chinese leader Xi Jinping-

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