Vietnam strikes balance between U.S., China via phone diplomacy

  • Vietnam’s top leaders have spoken on the phone with counterparts in China and the U.S. over the past week (3-7 Apr), underscoring Hanoi’s efforts to find a middle ground between the competing powers.
  • Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, the No. 3 leader in the Communist Party, held talks with Chinese Premier Li Qiang on 4 Apr, the Vietnamese government announced.
  • Chinh proposed that China further promote imports, open up its market to Vietnamese farm goods and increase the quota on Vietnamese goods shipped through China to a third country, as well as work to raise the capacity and efficiency of customs clearance.
  • These discussions came on the heels of a separate telephone conversation held between Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and U.S. President Joe Biden on 29 Mar.
  • Trong and Biden discussed the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, and the two sides agreed on maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as on the necessity of ensuring the freedom of navigation.

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