Vietnam Time

5/23/2016 4:33:27 PM

President Obama’s visit to Vietnam on international media

(VNF) - Late on May 22nd, U.S President Barack Obama arrived in Hanoi to begin his official three-day visit to Vietnam. The trip draws the attention of many leading news agency such as Reuters, BBC, Wall Street Journal, NBC, and New York Times.

The most notable is the article on Reuters titled “Obama arrives in Vietnam, seeks to turn old foe into new partner”. It stated “Four decades after a war with Vietnam that deeply divided opinion in America, Obama aims to boost defence and economic ties with the country’s communist rulers”.

In another post, Reuters also cited recent statistics showing that bilateral trade between the two countries has increased 10 times since the normalization of the relations in 1995, reaching USD45 billion. Vietnam is now the largest exporter to the US in Southeast Asia, mainly in the field of textiles and electronics.

“What we want to demonstrate with this visit is a significant upgrade in the relationship between the United States and Vietnam as partners on many issues, even as we have significant areas of difference,” said Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for President Obama.

Meanwhile, Britain’s BBC TV focused on Obama’s schedule in Vietnam. According to BBC, during the trip, the US leader is expected to discuss with the host country about removing obstacles relating to the Agreement on the Trans-Pacific partnership (TPP) . The visit will also include talks on the US’s lifting its lethal arms embargo on Vietnam, which has been imposed since 1984.

Wall Street Journal (WSJ) also highlighted the visit program. According to WSJ, President Obama, the third sitting President of the US to visit Vietnam, will have meetings with top leaders of the host country: President Tran Dai Quang, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Also according to WSJ, the trip aims at strengthening the relations between the two countries through economic initiatives and new security policy. The two governments are expected to announce a series of agreements, which may include the lifting of the arms embargo against Vietnam.

Calling the visit a “historic Asia trip”, NBC said President Barack Obama’s mission in Vietnam and Japan is to build stronger economic and security ties with Asian-Pacific allies. 

NBC wrote “Four decades after the fall of Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh City, and two decades after President Bill Clinton restored relations with the nation, Obama is eager to upgrade relations with an emerging power whose rapidly expanding middle class beckons as a promising market for U.S. goods.”

New York Times (NYT) appreciated the preparation by Vietnam for Obama’s trip. NYT described in detail the welcoming ceremony for President Obama at Noi Bai International Airport: a young girl wearing a yellow “ao dai” gave flowers to the president, then Vietnam officials embarked Obama before he moved to the hotel.

According to the NYT, on the road to the hotel, except for some small groups, streets had been kept clean and free of traffic. Many people stopped on the street to observe the convoy of President Obama.

AFP evaluated the visit to Vietnam by President Obama as a landmark, indicating two decades of normalization of relations between the two former enemies in war, in the context of the two countries seeking to promote trade relations and security.

The Obama administration considers Vietnam as an important partner in the Asia – Pacific. Meanwhile, the host country also hopes to strengthen relations with the US, the world’s leading power, AFP said.

Xinhua News Agency commented that in Vietnam, the US is expected to focus on discussions about developing trade, political cooperation and military during the visit.

Stressing that the US is the largest trading partner, as well as the largest importer of Vietnam, Xinhua said Vietnam would welcome the changes in trade relations between the two sides, especially in light of Obama’s visit to Vietnam./.

Tran Ngoc  
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