Home » Aviation » Deputy PM Minh: ‘No Two Countries Have Worked Harder’ To Repair Relations Than U.S. And Vietnam


Deputy PM Minh: ‘No Two Countries Have Worked Harder’ To Repair Relations Than U.S. And Vietnam

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh speaks during a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Hanoi, Dec. 16, 2013. Voice of America Photo

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh speaks during a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Hanoi, Dec. 16, 2013. Voice of America Photo

“No two countries have worked harder,” to overcome differences than the United States and Vietnam, said the Southeast Asian country’s deputy prime minister on Wednesday.

Throughout his address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, Pham Binh Minh stressed, “vibrant growth in all area” — trade, people-to-people exchanges and security that allows his nation and the region to grow economically and peacefully Vietname and the U.S. only established diplomatic relations in 1995.

“People could not believe how fast our relationship developed,” he said.
It is relationship that began in an unusual way following a long war — the search for Americans missing in action years after the fighting ended.

What followed was Vietnam’s removal of its troops from Cambodia and the closing of the so-called re-education camps where thousands of supporters of the fallen Saigon government were confined.

But one sticking point in the new relationship has been the executive branch’s embargo on the sale of lethal arms to Vietnam. The ban was imposed primarily on human rights grounds.

Minh called the continuation of the ban, “abnormal” in an address to the Asia Society in New York last week, reported Voice of America.

That ban maybe softening. Last week, Reuters reported the U.S. was considering selling Vietnam unarmed Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft.

In a panel discussion following Wednesday’s address, Scot Marciel, a principal deputy assistant secretary of state, said recent agreements have sent humanitarian assistance to Vietnam but the military-to-military contacts “have gone a little bit more slowly” and lethal arms sales are banned by executive policy.

Chris Borse, a national security adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said, “The immediate strategic interest [for the two nations] was maritime security” in the region.

Congress is willing to work with the administration on passing a resolution lifting the ban if Vietnam “demonstrates institutional change” that shows the willingness “to eliminate the arbitrary use of power” against political dissidents and reforms its justice system, he said.

Borse and Marciel stressed that lifting the ban was not tied to a specific quid pro quo — if Vietnam frees so many dissidents, some arms can be sold — but instead to broad progress towards greater human rights.

Murray Hiebert, a senior fellow at CSIS and co-author of a new report on the state of relations between the two, said, lifting the arms ban “would be a significant step forward.”

Minh, who has served as Vietnam’s foreign minister since 2011, said the two countries will continue working together on removal of Agent Orange, finding and destroying unexploded ordnance and hunting for the remains of American and Vietnamese missing in the war.

He cited the comprehensive agreement and other recent pacts between the two as important but they do “not hamper our relationships with other countries,” specifically China.

As for territorial disputes with China and other countries over islands in the South China Sea, Minh said, “We develop relationships with all countries” and said what was needed was diplomatic negotiations among all claimants to the territory and not military confrontation.

When he was asked by a Russian news agency reporter about Vietnam’s plans for the development of Cam Ranh Bay — the former home of U.S. and Soviet naval bases in Vietnam— Minh said, “We welcome all assistance. That is not a military port.”

  • So Vietnam is asking for the US to act as a wall between china and Vietnam

    • Son Nguyen

      No dummy. Vietnam asking the US to lift the lethal weapons sale ban. So Vietnam can buy weapons to deal with China.

      • The way it looks, is that Vietnam wants US assurance and US protection from China. Cause they know they can’t go toe to toe with China.

        • Son Nguyen

          Another dummy. Vietnam wants the US to lift lethal weapons arm embargo. So Vietnam can fight against China aggression.

          • Another idiot

          • Son Nguyen

            Is that all you can said?

        • Son Nguyen

          Why go toe to toe with China? When you have a big powerful country like the US to help you. What are you stupid Nicky?

    • Secundius

      @ Nicky.

      The only thing the Peoples Republic of China and the Peoples Republic of Vietnam have in common. Is that their both Communist countries. They’ve been Bucking-Heads with each other since creation. Vietnam can take care of itself, they just want a Level Playing Field too Play-On. It’s 40+ years, since the war between us the United States and PRV. ended. It’s about time we Bury-the-Hatchet, and become allies. Even if we don’t sell Vietnam Advanced Fifth-Generation equipment, we can at least sell the Advanced Third and Fourth-Generation equipment. Which Vietnam can supplement with purchases from friendly neighboring countries.

  • CPTCHUCK

    Have you made amends for the treatment of the US airman during the war, have you put on trial the people who committed the acts of torture, did you apologize for the total disregard for the 1972 Accord. When you do that maybe then we can talk about reparations for you brutish actions. You have not shown that we can trust what you say.

    • Jonh

      Did you apologize for the my lai massacre or dropping agent orange vietnam?

      • CPTCHUCK

        Jonh – we did infact, we tried the individuals involved in My Lai and we are paying for the clean up of the agent Orange.

        • Jonh

          Here is a question do you hate The Vietnamese or just their government

          • CPTCHUCK

            I do not hate anyone but I do expect that government and people to keep their word when they sign agreements. The government of Vietnam and the people did not keep their word.

          • Jonh

            dont mash up people with the government since they are not responsible for their governments actions and our government is also the same like you said

          • CPTCHUCK

            jonh I did not stay any thing about our government good bad or indifferent. The government can not be trusted and their for the people are untrusted. If you love Vietnam so much please go live their for a while, and your eyes will be opened.

    • Secundius

      @ CPTCHUCK.

      By the way, the Nuremberg Accords of 1946/49, the United States didn’t sign them.

  • Secundius

    And how is that any different then the way the NAZI’s & Imperial Japanese, and Russian’s treated our aircrew’s during WW2. or the North Koreans & ChiCom, during the Korean War.