An ongoing visit to the US by Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong could be a turning point in the 20-year diplomatic relations between the two countries, said an American expert in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency.
Gregory Poling from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said bilateral relations have progressed substantially, reflected in Vietnam’s joining of the World Trade Organization, a boom in bilateral trade and investment activities, the establishment of a comprehensive partnership and the US partly lifting its arms embargo on Vietnam.
This is the first time a General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam has made a visit to the US.
The visit takes place at a time important to Vietnam-US relations, as the two countries are marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.
Poling spoke of a recent US visit by Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang, highlighting the positive outcomes of meetings between Minister Quang, FBI Director James Comey and other US officials.
Meanwhile, the conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations could be the most prominent milestone of the Vietnam-US ties this year, he told a Vietnam New Agency correspondent in Washington DC.
Moving forwards, it is not a question of will their relationship grow, but how fast it will be improved, Poling said.
Gregory Poling is a fellow with the Sumitro Chair for Southeast Asia Studies and the Pacific Partners Initiative at the CSIS.